- 2 ounces Stoneacre arugula amaro*
- ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
- ¼ ounce simple syrup
- Club soda
- Fresh arugula for garnish
- 4 tablespoons dried orange peel
- 1 tablespoon anise seeds
- 1 tablespoon Grains of Paradise
- ½ cup dried cherries
- 4 tablespoons fresh orange zest, no white pith
- 3 tablespoons lemon zest, no white pith
- 6 fresh sage leaves
- 6 fresh basil leaves
- 2 cups fresh arugula
- 3 cups 151-proof vodka
- ½ cup simple syrup
About this recipe
It takes a certain ingenuity to craft a green cocktail that actually tastes good. Hats off to Ryan Kennedy, bartender at Stoneacre Brasserie in Newport, who makes The Rocket, an honorable green tipple that spotlights his house-made arugula amaro. While most green cocktails I’ve tasted are lopsided and vegetal, The Rocket beams in zestful liveliness. The cocktail is fresh and savory on its feet, and surprisingly less bitter than you’d think. Tiny sparks of spice glisten on the tongue—the West African spice Grains of Paradise imparts an inviting full-bodied heat into the amaro while dried cherries and anise assuage any bitter tones in the arugula. One sip and you’re left with a flutter of zests and a green earthy sweetness. The addition of fresh sage and basil to the formula is distinctly Italian; you may recall a faint echo of your first sip of Fernet Branca, only sweeter. Add lemon, a splash of simple syrup and bubbles and you’ve got one heck of a Collins on your hands.
~ Willa Van Nostrand, award-winning mixologist and beverage consultant and owner of Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails and World’s Fair Gallery. Visit her at LittleBitte.com
The arugula amaro takes a little extra care to make but it’s worth its weight for its peppery pop in a classic sour.
Combine arugula amaro, lemon juice and simple syrup in a bar tin with ice; shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain into a Collins glass filled with fresh ice, top with club soda and garnish with fresh arugula leaves. Yields 1 cocktail.
Combine all ingredients except the simple syrup into a clean Mason jar with a tight lid and infuse for three weeks at room temperature. Fine strain into a clean glass bottle (discard solids) and add the simple syrup. Store at room temperature. Best used within one year.