Maitalia · Benedetto

Alexis Jesup

Make no mistake: Bartenders at Benedetto in Harvard Square make a mean Negroni. But the Italian restaurant’s head bartender, Charles Coykendall, looked beyond the familiar flavor of Campari when building a cocktail program.

“My approach was to feature a wide array of the Italian spirits that were available, but most of them tend to be liqueurs,” says Coykendall. “I didn’t want every drink to be bitter. I wanted to have something that would appeal to the Mai Tai set, or people who like a tropical drink any time of the year.”

His gift to that aforementioned set is the Maitalia, a cleverly named concoction that stays true to the spirit of the tiki original while incorporating Italian spirits such as sweet, herbal Galliano and the lesser-known orange liqueur Borducan.

Coykendall discovered Borducan when Benedetto opened. He started using it in place of other orange liqueurs, like Grand Marnier or Cointreau, as an experiment.

With 35 percent ABV, Coykendall found the liqueur substantial enough to serve alongside Jamaican rum and Galliano as a base for this cocktail. Complete with lime juice, orgeat, a few mint sprigs, and an Angostura float, Maitalia is a sharp, citrusy take on a tropical classic that leans just a little more La Dolce Vita.

Maitalia
1 ounce Appleton Estate Reserve Rum
¾ ounce Borducan Orange Liqueur
¾ ounce lime juice
½ ounce Galliano
¼ ounce Giffard Sirop Orgeat
Angostura bitters, for garnish
1-2 mint sprigs, for garnish

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Pour (without straining) into a chilled double rocks glass and top with cracked ice. Garnish with mint sprigs and 4 or 5 dashes of Angostura bitters.

Brian Samuels

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