Words by: Simon Difford
Photography by: Dan Malpass
Italy’s answer to France's Yellow Chartreuse, Liquore Strega is a complex liqueur made with 70 different botanicals including cinnamon, juniper, wild mint, cloves, star anise, white pepper, orris root, nutmeg and saffron (which gives the liqueur its vivid yellow hue).
Strega shares many of its botanicals with gin and indeed it pairs well with gin in cocktails, as it does with tequila and brandy – particularly grappa.
Despite Strega’s versatility in adding complex flavours to cocktails it has been sadly overlooked by many bartenders. In a hope of changing this, follows our ten favourite Strega cocktails (as of September 2018).
If you’ve a killer recipe we’ve missed then please email your spec to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime:
With: Reposado tequila, Strega, lemon juice and egg white.
We say: This Margarita-like drink demonstrates what a great combo tequila and Strega are.
Acapulco No.2 recipe
With: Rye whiskey, calvados, sweet vermouth, Strega and Angostura Bitters.
We say: The herbal notes of Strega combine delightfully in this stirred down cocktail.
Autumn Leaves recipe
With: Strega, Cocchi Americano, lemon juice, Angostura Bitters and egg white.
We say: A suitably Italian riff on the classic Corpse Reviver with Strega liqueur.
Corpse Reviver No.0824 recipe
With: Pisco, Strega liqueur, Cynar and grapefruit bitters.
We say: This equal parts stirred down cocktail is either a boozy aperitif or a bittersweet digestif come nightcap. Whatever classification, it’s tasty.
Death Star recipe
With: Dry gin, Strega, Apricot liqueur, kirschwasser, lemon juice and orange bitters.
We say: Gin laced, tangy, herbal, fruity and citrusy.
Ernst Happel recipe
With: Strega, Crodino and Angostura Bitters.
We say: Crodino and Strega make a very tasty and very Italian aperitivo. Go easy on the Angostura.
Lo Stregone recipe
With: Cognac, muscatel, Strega, cherry brandy, vanilla syrup and cinnamon syrup.
We say: Slightly sweet with vanilla, cherry and cinnamon and complex peppermint and herbal notes from the Strega interlaced with cognac.
Unforgettable Moments recipe
With: Golden rum, Strega, orgeat syrup, orange juice and lemon juice.
We say: Aniseed, sweet almond and delicate spice subtly influence this tasty Daiquiri.
Witches’ Daiquiri recipe
With: Grappa, Strega, orange juice and lemon juice.
We say: As the name suggests, grappa and Strega predominate in this citrusy cocktail.
Witches’ Grappa recipe
With: Strega, cognac, orange juice, lemon juice, sugar syrup and egg yolk.
We say: Strega liqueur and citrus juice fortified with cognac flavour this aptly named flip.
Witches’ Yellow Flip recipe