Laura Norris, proprietor at Cucina della Ragazza in Westport, has a simple, restorative elixir to help ease us into 2017: De’ Medici 1610. This lovely winter cocktail features G.D. Vajra’s Barolo Chinato, a classic Piedmontese digestivo sure to cure the vestiges of over-indulging this holiday season. Chinato dates back to the 19th century when Dr. Giuseppe Cappellano, a doctor who loved aged Barolo and believed aged wines had therapeutic properties, combined the wine with different botanicals to accentuate its healing properties. Much in the style of vermouth, Vajra’s Chinato is made of Barolo wine infused with Alpine roots and herbs, organic Sicilian orange peel, brown sugar and spices, and marries beautifully to the apple and citrus of the other ingredients.
Norris and her longtime friend and Ragazza mixologist, Missy Koonce, developed the De’ Medici 1610 together, combining Laura’s love of Barolo and Missy’s expertise with spirits. The name is a reference to the combination of Italian wine and French apple brandy—like when Italian Marie de’ Medici became queen of France in 1610. Fortunately, the cocktail is much more successful than Marie’s reign, and a perfect reason to bring these two cultures together right in your own home.
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake violently. Strain into a martini glass or coupe. Top with orange twist. Enjoy.