Cinque Aperitivo

 Cinque AperitivoCiao, Italia!

As you cocktail mavens may be aware, aperitivos and amaros are currently having a moment in bars across the U.S. The rest of you are probably asking, “A what and a what?”

An aperitivo (in Italian) or apéritif (in French) is a light alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite, and is therefore usually dry rather than sweet. An amaro (Italian for “bitter”) is an Italian herbal liqueur that is commonly drunk as an after-dinner digestif. It usually has a bittersweet and sometimes syrupy flavor.

Cinque is an aperitivo created following a traditional recipe developed in 1929. It is based on an infusion of 12 selected roots and herbs, highlighted by bitter orange and gentian lutea, selected for its bitter root (the overall bitterness level is an approachable “medium”). It’s perfect for fans of Campari and Aperol looking for something a bit different.

Although Cinque is labeled to look as Italian as possible, and the parent company, Don Ciccio & Figli, has roots to the Old Country going back as far as 1883, it is in fact produced in Washington, D.C.

Here’s a sample recipe: 1 oz. gin, 1oz. Cinque aperitivo, 1 oz. amaro, a splash of soda, and a dash of lemon bitters. Stir well and serve on the rocks with an orange twist and sweet cherry as garnish. Salute!

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