This Americano-style aromatized wine has everything going for it, according to Kate Boushel of Montreal’s Barroco Group. Boushel is the director of beverage and education across their seven properties, but she can still be found behind the stick at Milky Way and Atwater Cocktail Club, which was recently ranked in North America’s 50 Best Bars. For Boushel, Cocchi Rosa is “just a carefully and perfectly tailored product.”
It stands up simply served with a soda and zest, with its “ultra luxurious mouthfeel that brings forward beautiful bitter and vegetal notes from the gentian and cinchona, which also dampen the sweeter and brighter candied berry and floral notes from its Brachetto and Malvasia wine base.” But it plays just as well in classic cocktails, adding complexity and dimension, while lowering the ABV. “What gets me every time is the lingering hint of wild rose, saffron, ginger, and peppercorn,” she says.
But Cocchi Rosa is about more than its versatility for Boushel. Created in 1891 by Giulio Cocchi, it remains a family-owned and run operation—now with the Bava family at the helm—and is still produced in Asti, Italy, according to the original recipe. “For a somewhat small operation, this family has understood its strengths and has managed to win the hearts of bartenders around the world and wine aficionados alike,” says Boushel. “In every sip, you understand that they push tradition through a futuristic lens.”
Cocchi Rosa Selling Points
- “Bartenders have a soft spot for aperitifs as modifiers in cocktails, which offer up the chance to introduce guests to the products,” says Boushel.
- Its low alcohol content (16.5% ABV) is attractive to guests looking to be conscientious about their drinking.
- It’s a winning seasonal recommendation. “On warmer sunny days, you can simply enjoy it over crushed ice with a little grapefruit twist, or in a spritz,” adds Boushel.
Atwater Cocktail Club’s Beyond Smoke & Mirrors
- 1 oz. extra añejo tequila
- 1 oz. manzanilla sherry
- ½ oz. Cocchi Americano
- ½ oz. Cocchi Rosa
- 1 dash lavender bitters
- 1 dash Cascade Celery Bittered Sling bitters
- 1 dash Lem-Marrakech Bittered Sling bitters
Method: Using two large shaker tins, pour all of the ingredients into the first tin over ice. Using a julep strainer or hornless hawthorn to hold the ice in place, exchange the liquid between the two tins. Repeat the exchange seven times. This method, known as the throwing method, allows the ingredients to mix while controlling the dilution and temperature, and aerating the cocktail as a whole to increase aromatics and improve mouthfeel.
Tyler Wetherall is the senior editor for SevenFifty Daily and the Beverage Media Group publications. Her drinks journalism has appeared in publications including Punch, The Guardian, Condé Nast Traveler, Thrillist, and The Spirits Business, which awarded her the Alan Lodge Young International Drinks Writer of the Year. Tyler is also the author of No Way Home: A Memoir of Life on the Run. Follow her on Instagram at @tylerwrites.