Alcohol-Free Giro d”italia
When it comes to cocktails, sweetness seems to be the name of the game, with ingredients like simple syrup, honey, and maraschino cherries dominating the field. However, who's to say you can't have a savory cocktail that makes it seem like you're drinking a fresh salad instead of a fruit bowl?
Such is the case with the Giro d'Italia - a modern cocktail named after a race with over 100 years of history. Reading the ingredients list of cherry tomatoes and basil leaves, it's okay if you're a bit hesitant to make this drink for yourself. However, the juiciness of the tomatoes and the boldness of the basil combine to make something truly unique.
Even better, thanks to Seir Hill's Mashville whiskey-alternative, you can sip on a Giro d'Italia without worrying about getting too much of a buzz in the process. Here's everything you need to know about how to make a non-alcoholic Giro d'Italia.
A Brief History of the Giro d'Italia Cocktail
If you were to type the words "history of Giro d'Italia," you would see pages of articles dedicated to a race in Italy, not a summer cocktail. Although the Giro d'Italia race first started in 1909, this beverage didn't find its way into bars and taverns until much more recently. The Giro d'Italia cocktail also has multiple variations, with some recipes calling for tomatoes and basil and others using orange peels and simple syrup.
Overall, as with many great cocktails, the precise origin of this mixture is hard to pin down. However, one thing is for certain - it gets its name from the annual race held around the Italian Alps. It's unclear if the cocktail was born in Italy or if it was invented in the states by mixologists who wanted to blend their love of Italian racing with their passion for spirits.
As far as the history of the race goes, it's impossible to talk about its origins without discussing how the Tour de France came to be. In 1903, a French newspaper editor named Henri Desgrange, decided to collect funds to launch a bicycle race around the country to boost sales and awareness of his paper L'Auto. Since the paper was printed on yellow pages, the winner of the race would get a yellow jersey.
In a real-world case of "copy it but make it different," the same elements would repeat in Italy six years later, in 1909. In Italy, the editor of a newspaper called La Gazetta dello Sport, Tullo Morgagni, also orchestrated a race that would travel throughout the Italian countryside to boost sales of his paper. Since La Gazetta was printed on pink pages, the winner would receive a pink jersey.
Both races have been going strong ever since, although the Giro d'Italia changes its route every year. No matter what happens during the race, riders are sure to pass through the Alps at least once or twice before they cross the finish line. The first race had 127 riders, while modern events have around 170.
When discussing the cocktail, mentions of it go back to the early 2000s, but it's hard to locate the exact date or region where it was invented. That said, the Giro d'Italia certainly has the essence of the race, combining light summery refreshment with the essential tastes of Italy.
What You'll Need to Make a Giro d'Italia With Non-Alcoholic Whiskey
Realistically, this cocktail is relatively easy to make, but you need a muddler and a cocktail shaker to prepare it correctly. One variation we found uses a singed orange peel, so if you want to go that route, you could use a lighter or a chef's torch to get the right caramelization.
Also, it makes sense to use a knife to chop the tomatoes, so they're easier to muddle. It's up to you whether you want so much juice in your cocktail, so you may need a strainer or something to remove excess liquid or seeds.
Here's a rundown of the tools and ingredients necessary for this mocktail:
- Rocks Glass
- Cocktail Shaker
- 2 oz Mashville Alcohol-Free Whiskey
- 3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
- 3/4 oz Agave Syrup
- 3 Cherry Tomatoes
- 4 Basil Leaves
How to Make a Giro d'Italia Mocktail
First, you'll need to muddle your cherry tomatoes and basil leaves. The original recipe calls for you to add these ingredients to the cocktail shaker for straining, or you can muddle them in your glass if you want extra flavor and texture in the drink. We prefer straining the leaves and tomato peels out, but to each their own.
Beyond the muddling, all you have to do is mix the rest of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain it into your glass. You can also garnish the beverage with a single basil leaf, or you can choose something a bit fruitier if you prefer.
Non-Alcoholic Giro d'Italia Variations
Since the origins of this drink are a bit "muddled" (pun intended), there's a bit more freedom to make it with whatever tickles your fancy. As with all mocktails, we recommend making it the original way first and then adjusting the recipe as needed based on your preferences. Here are a few recommendations on how to make the Giro d'Italia your own:
- Use Other Citrus Fruits - While lemon juice is perfect for summer libations, you can swap it for limes or oranges instead. If you're going to go the orange juice route, we recommend using a blood orange so it's more exotic and less "mimosa."
- Use Fresh Honey - Agave syrup is a wonderful addition to this beverage because it's sweet and adds a unique flavor to the mix. However, if you want something a bit more traditional, honey can work well as a substitute. You can even use flavored honey to enhance the balance of sweet and savory.
- Make it Low-Alcohol With a Campari Float - If you haven't had Campari before, it's a bold-tasting aperitif that you can float on top of the Giro for an even more distinct flavor. Campari doesn't work for everyone, but it can enhance the savory profile and make the cocktail shine. However, since Campari does contain alcohol, it would not be 100 percent alcohol-free.
No matter your preferences, the Giro d'Italia is a unique mocktail that can't be copied or mimicked. We also have tons of other mocktails to make with Mashville. Finally, you can get alcohol-free rum and Tequila from Seir Hill or bundle all three in a single package.