Opera Prima Cocktail

A cocktail for summer that sings
Contributor

Evan Sung

Obicà Mozzarella Bar, an Italian eatery with a location in New York’s Flatiron district, hosted an event celebrating 10-year anniversary, and as you could guess, cocktails were a big part of the event. The Opera Prima was a favorite — one attendee commented “It’s so refreshing! It feels like a hot summer day with every sip, and I love the taste of basil and sugar, which are a perfect match, but much more original than a mojito.” This was the first cocktail that beverage director Fabrizio Argiolas put on Obicà’s cocktail menu, and he named it accordingly; opera prima means “first opera” in Italian.

Ingredients

2 ounces lemon-infused Russian Standard Vodka

1 ounce citrus mix

½ ounce cane syrup

10 basil leaves

Mist of Sambuca

Directions

For citrus mix: Combine equal parts strained lemon juice, lime juice, and filtered water.

Mist chilled cocktail glass with Sambuca

Muddle the basil gently in a shaker then add the other ingredients, including citrus mix.

Fill with ice, shake.

Pour into glass using double strain.

Garnish with a sprig of basil.

Cocktail Shopping Tip

Buy your booze in bulk – transfer what you need into smaller bottles to stock your bar – you’ll save money and have enough leftover for your next party.

Cocktail Cooking Tip

Add another layer of flavor to your cocktails by making your own simple syrup – combine equal parts sugar and water with whatever aromatics you like – fresh herbs, whole spices, citrus, or chile peppers – heat to dissolve sugar and strain before using.