Rocco Forte Hotels

Whether you’re planning a sensational, late summer garden party or looking for something lively and refreshing to sip this season, cocktail legend Salavatore Calabrese is on hand to dispense his mixology mastery. Discover his guide to what you should be serving and savouring.

What elements make the perfect late summer cocktail?

“Right now, opt for clear, light spirits as a base and mix with fresh, fruity, citrus flavours. Always choose ingredients that will create a bright and vibrant drink.”

What cocktails are simple to prepare at home and really refreshing?

“A classic Collins which has its roots in the 1800s is easy to make and very refreshing. The original Collins is made with gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and soda water. An alternative twist is to add some raspberries for a Raspberry Collins, equally refreshing and very colourful.”

Drinks like Aperol Spritz and Negronis have become really popular over the last few years. What cocktails are on-trend this season?

“These are still the most requested drinks during the afternoon and evening at the Donovan Bar, but the Americano, made with Campari, sweet vermouth, and club soda is enjoying a comeback too. Sherry is also enjoying a renaissance and often requested simply served with tonic or soda. A great sherry cocktail to try is the Bamboo. It’s equal parts dry sherry and dry vermouth, a dash of orange bitters and a twist of lemon. Prepared in a mixing glass and served in a chilled cocktail glass.”

What tips or advice would you give when it comes to choosing what to serve at a party?

“Firstly, make sure that the recipe is simple enough to produce easily and at high volume. It’s a good idea to choose a recipe that can be made up in advance and stored in the refrigerator to be served as a punch with added ice or in a glass over ice to each guest.

A punchbowl always creates a great ambience and people can help themselves, leaving you free to host. A great idea is to make a very large block of ice in an empty ice cream container using mineral water so it will not dilute the punch too quickly.”

What is the perfect drink to sip while sitting by the sea on holiday as the sun sets?

“I would suggest my own Amalfi Dream. It’s lovely to look at, simple to make, light, refreshing and easy to drink.”

Amalfi Dream


50ml vodka

20ml Salvatore’s Liquore di Limone or any good quality Limoncello

20ml fresh lemon juice

4 to 5 fresh mint leaves


- Pour all the ingredients into a shaker filled with ice.

- Shake sharply to break the mint leaves.

- Strain into an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice, allowing the mint fragments to flow into the drink, and garnish with a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint.

Do you have an all-time favourite late summer cocktail?

“I will always choose a Negroni or Garibaldi if I fancy something more citrus-y.”

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