In Italy, children anticipate their holiday presents not from Santa Claus but from La Befana, depicted as a witch who rides her broom to deliver treats and in turn is offered glasses of wine and plates of sausage. That tradition hasn’t crossed the Atlantic, but a more familiar Italian holiday export is the sweet bread panettone. The panettone, a traditional Milanese Christmas cake, is filled with candied fruit, raisins and occasionally chocolate. This drink’s name is borrowed from the Milanese slang for the cake.
1½ oz. gin
1½ oz. Grand Marnier
½ oz. Barolo Chinato
1 oz. homemade chocolate syrup
1 oz. heavy cream
1 egg yolk (pasteurized if you like)
2 dashes orange bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: Old Fashioned
Garnish: Pocky stick, or substitute grated chocolate
Combine all the ingredients in a shaker without ice and shake to combine. add ice to the shaker and shake again to chill. Strain into the glass and garnish.
Homemade Chocolate Syrup: In a saucepan, add ¾ cup of sultana raisins and the peeled zest of 2 oranges, then cover with 2 cups of water. Bring to a simmer and gently muddle the fruit, cooking for 6-7 minutes. Strain out the solids and return the liquid to the pan, then add ¾ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder. Whisk over low heat until the cocoa powder has dissolved. Measure the chocolate mixture and add twice the amount of white sugar. return to low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Cool and bottle for use; keeps in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
Michele Garofalo for The Jerry Thomas Project, Rome, Italy
Did you enjoy this recipe? Sign up for our newsletter and get weekly recipes and articles in your inbox.