Vesuviana · Sportello

By Eric Twardzik · 04/26/2019

Poor Somma Vesuviana. Like Pompeii, the bygone Italian town was a popular resort for well-to-do Romans until Mount Vesuvius buried it under a blanket of volcanic ash. But unlike its similarly ill-fated neighbor, Vesuviana was more or less forgotten.

Sportello, Barbara Lynch’s Italian spot in Fort Point, is jogging our memory by serving a citrus-forward cocktail that leans into Italian spirits and bears the ancient city’s name.

The Vesuviana began as a variant on the Paper Plane, a modern concoction made with bourbon, Aperol, Nonino, and lemon juice. Bartender Tommy Giammanco first swapped out bourbon for Italian Malfy Gin made with lemons from Sicily and the Amalfi Coast. He retained the orangey Aperol, but substituted Nonino for Amaro Montenegro and added a little simple syrup to counteract the acidity.

“I designed the cocktail around the fact that it’s very citrus-centric,” Giammanco says. “The gin has a lot of citrus itself, and then there’s two different types of orange liqueur, plus lemon juice.”

The drink is as sharp and clean as any good Martini, but packed full of bright notes that put it in step with spring. In other words, it’s just what you want to be sipping before a rich plate of pasta arrives.

1 ounce Malfy Gin

½ ounce Amaro Montengro
½ ounce Aperol
½ ounce lemon juice
½ ounce simple syrup
Lemon peel, for expression

Add all ingredients to a shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled. Double strain into a Nick and Nora glass and express lemon peel over the surface of the drink.

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