Imbibe Magazine’s most recent July/August 2022 edition features highballs—the elongated, tall style cocktail often associated with sparkling mixers and sometimes lower alcohol than other shapes. With several refreshing examples to try this summer, we dove right in and mixed the Cio-notto by Jessica King of the Brother Wolf Negroni Bar in Knoxville, Tennessee.
This cocktail’s unusual name is a mashup of two Italian ingredients: Amaro CioCiarro and chinotto—the bittersweet soda that usually comes in little bottles. While we have long enjoyed our bottle of CioCiarro among the cabinetful collection of Italian bitter liqueurs, we don’t often have a use for it beyond amaro tasting with friends. It is nice to finally have a simple recipe for it! And although King specifies Lurisia brand chinotto which we could pickup from an Italian market across town, our local coop delivery recently included a 6.8oz bottle of Stappi, so we decided to split that and make two! You could also get away with another brand.
Cio-notto by Jessica King
2 oz Amaro CioCiarro
3 oz chinotto (Lurisia recommended)
Pre-chill the ingredients, then combine in an ice filled glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Chinotto, pronounced with a ”k” sound (this is Italian, remember) is a carbonated soft drink flavored with the fruit of the myrtle-leaved orange tree. It is like bitter orange-flavored cola, but not as sweet. Combined with the perfumed complexity of the amaro, this is a delicious and and refreshing drink that is flavorful enough to stand some dilution as you sip. Make sure you give your lemon peel a heavy twist to express the oils for the full effect, as the garnish here is compulsory and adds more nuanced aromatics to the drink.
We probably drank ours too quickly, but on a hot day this low ABV highball is very nice. It is sweet, but definitely more refined than a glass of Coke. We can’t wait to try some of the other summer recipes from this issue of Imbibe.