We are behind the scenes at Delray Beach’s newest Italian ristorante, to chat about their custom cocktail program and taste the latest creations by Big Time Restaurant Group certified sommelier and beverage director Ervin Machado.
Essential Ingredients to a chill cocktail experience
Ice will make (or break) your cocktail experience. Ervin knows a thing or two about serving up perfect cocktails and agreed to sit down with me for a lesson about ice and the types that are essential behind his bar. His secret to great cocktails start with ice, one of the key investments behind Elisabetta’s bar. Custom cuts and state of the art ice machines are essential for the amazing array of craft cocktails served by Ervin’s team.
My favorite classic Italian cocktail, the Negroni, comes in many versions. Elisabetta’s fragrant elixir, a Sicilian Negroni, is made to perfection with equal parts blood orange gin, Aperol and sweet vermouth. This lighter version of the classic Negroni is served on tap, chilled over a large ice cube, with a zesty orange slice.
A Twist on Classics & Crafts
Imagine a cool gin cocktail combining cantaloupe melon and fresh lemon and meet the Il Pepe, a new classic cocktail created by Ervin for Elisabetta’s cocktail menu. This light and creamy cocktail comes together with a splash of chick pea liquid in the shaker (aquafaba), creating a foamy crown that is finished with a dash of fresh cracked pepper. Bellisimo.
Elisabetta’s Hibiscus Spiced Margarita is an exotically tropical tequila cocktail made with a blend of fresh lemon and lime juices, Ervin’s house-made hibiscus syrup and fresno pepper infused agave nectar. A chilled glass is filled with pebble ice, the cocktail, shaken, then topped with crushed ice and an edible flower. This cool refreshing sip is balanced with a delightful peppery finish from the juicy red fresno pepper. The perfect cocktail for a South Florida summery day or night.
The Sexy Sour
Saronna is known for one of Italy’s favorite spirits, Amaretto. A unique blend of apricot stones, peach stones and almonds create this sweet liqueur used as the main ingredient in the Amarettto Sour. Elisabetta’s version of a sour substitutes aquafaba for egg whites (hence the vegan name), and serves it shaken with pebble ice and then strained into a delicate coupe glass. The velvety foam is artistically topped with a few drops of syrup, a dark cherry and slice of orange. Sexy.