Cocktail recipes

by Christine Salins on August 6, 2014, cocktails, cocktail recipes, Carpenè Malvolti Prosecco, Rosso Antico, Wow! FoodWineTravel readers clearly love their cocktails.

There were lots of fabulous entries in our Italian bubbles competition, and we’re really impressed by the ingenuity of some of them, so much so that I’d like to share some of them with you.

*Add a kick to your champers or Prosecco by adding 15ml pear juice, 15ml of your favourite whiskey) and a spiral/twist of lemon.

*Use frozen berries in blender-type cocktails – they taste great and you don’t have to add ice. And in a similar vein: use frozen fruit such as grapes or lychees instead of ice cubes, so you don’t end up with watery cocktails.

*Get creative! Try classic cocktails, but put your own unique spin on it, like adding a little passionfruit to your next Strawberry Daiquiri.

*Don’t stay up drinking far too many cocktails, especially when you have to get up at 6am for a long haul flight. Yes, speaking from experience…

*Make sure you shake your booty as much as the cocktail shaker. This makes for better cocktails and a more fun time.

Make the presentation spectacular

*Not only does the liquid of a cocktail need to taste great, but the presentation should be spectacular.

*1) Keep hubby away from the ingredients!
2) The less ingredients the better!
3) Go fresh, fun and bright with added fruits!
4) Keep hubby away from ingredients!! :)

*For a variation on Italian Spritz, use Rosso Antico instead of Aperol or Campari and a blood orange slice instead of regular orange. As with all cocktails, the real tip is who you share it with. Enjoy this one on a beach holiday with friends.

*Vodka (with a packet of redskins mixed in) and soda water. (Who would have thought?!)

*Chill your glasses – simple but important.

*Savour the taste, every last drop. Whatever concoction is created, always serve it with a smile.

Sadly, there can be only one winner and it is …. drum roll … Alex Pritchard. Alex made herself a Basil Gin & Tonic by sous-viding (is that a word?) basil leaf and gin and, when ready to serve, snipping the bag open and pouring the tonic in. She suggests drinking it from the bag – with a straw, of course! Alex’s prize of a gift box of Carpenè Malvolti Prosecco and Rosso Antico is on its way to her.

You might also enjoy: Celebrating with Prosecco in a Strawberry Basil Cocktail.


Win some Italian bubbles!

by Christine Salins on July 16, 2014


Congratulations to our winner: Alex Prichard.

Add some sparkle to your cocktails! Here at Food Wine Travel we love a celebration and this week we’re celebrating all sorts of good things by giving away a lovely gift box of Italian wine. The box contains a bottle of Carpenè Malvolti Prosecco, worth $23, and a bottle of Rosso Antico, worth $22. If you’ve read my blog post, you’ll already have some great ideas for using them in cocktails.

To enter, email your best cocktail tip to christine [at] foodwinetravel [dot] com [dot] au – it doesn’t have to be long and fancy, just a few words will do. Put “cocktail” in the subject line and include your address in case you win (apologies to our overseas readers but the competition is open to Australian readers only).

Hop on over to the box in the top right corner to subscribe if you haven’t already. The competition closes next Friday, July 25, and the prize will be mailed to the winner.

Related post: Celebrating with Prosecco in a Strawberry Basil Cocktail.

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Celebrating with Prosecco in a Strawberry Basil Cocktail

by Christine Salins on July 16, 2014 Carpenè Malvolti, cocktail, Good Food Month, Prosecco, Strawberry Basil cocktail, agave nectar, Kunara organic marketplace, what is Prosecco, Aperol spritz, Amaro Montenegro, Rosso Antico, Italian wine.

Who loves a celebration? I do, and right now I’ve got plenty to celebrate. I’m celebrating:

*my new home in sunny Queensland
*my appointment as official blogger for Good Food Month
*how blessed I am to have such a wonderful family and friends
*the beautiful water view I wake up to each day
*the little bird that has just started visiting my balcony

In my view, those are pretty good reasons to pop the cork on a bottle of bubbly. The Prosecco we are celebrating with is from Carpenè Malvolti, an Italian winemaker with a long (140-year) history. We sampled the Prosecco in a truly delicious Strawberry Basil cocktail (I’ll share the recipe further down in this post).

The strawberries and the agave nectar in this recipe add a lovely sweetness to the very dry Prosecco. As it just so happens, I recently bought a bottle of agave nectar from Kunara, the fabulous organic marketplace near Nambour, and was keen to give it a whirl. The basil adds another interesting dimension.

Carpenè Malvolti Prosecco from northern Italy represents very good value (a certain big Aussie liquor chain is selling it for under $20). It’s aromatic, a little fruity and although it is labelled Extra Dry, it is not as dry as sparkling wines with zero dosage – in fact, it has a somewhat creamy mousse and texture. It goes beautifully with Mediterranean cuisine (funny that!) and it also makes a great base for cocktails, as the recipe below demonstrates.

Win a gift pack!

Another Italian winner in the cocktail stakes is Amaro Montenegro, a liqueur distilled from more than 40 herbs. Sweet with a slightly bitter finish, it can be enjoyed straight, with soda water and lemon rind, hot, or in cocktails.

It’s readily available in Australia along with Rosso Antico, a ruby red, lightly fortified bittersweet aperitif made from 32 herbs and spices. Serve it neat or on ice, garnished with lemon or orange, or with tonic, ginger beer, lime or your favourite spirit. It also goes beautifully with Prosecco and some muddled berries.

Food Wine Travel has a gift box containing a bottle of Carpenè Malvolti and a bottle of Rosso Antico to give away to one lucky reader – entering is as easy as sending in your favourite cocktail tip. Carpenè Malvolti, cocktail, Good Food Month, Prosecco, Strawberry Basil cocktail, agave nectar, Kunara organic marketplace, what is Prosecco, Aperol spritz, Amaro Montenegro, Rosso Antico, Italian wine.STRAWBERRY BASIL SPARKLER

2 strawberries, chopped
2 basil leaves
splash of agave nectar
splash of lemon juice
100ml Prosecco

Muddle the strawberries and the basil in the agave and lemon juice. Add the Prosecco with ice and gently fold. You could strain the contents into a Champagne flute but I didn’t bother. Garnish with a slice of strawberry on the rim.

Related post: Win some Italian bubbles!