Thirsty Writer, Libations Marketer
Originally published in the April 2015 issue of Northshore Magazine.
Known for turning out delicious home-style Italian cuisine in Winthrop and Revere, Rossetti’s highly anticipated new outpost in Lynn has now become an “it” spot for North Shore diners. But it’s not just for the food—a visionary craft cocktail program has locals skipping a trip to Boston in favor of a bar stool at Rossetti’s, where beverage manager Andrew Imbracsio shares his latest concoctions. From barrel-aged and infused cocktails to house-made bitters and syrups, Rossetti’s goes the extra mile when it comes to impressing customers. The popular hand-cut ice program involves a 35-pound block and an electric chainsaw—sure to raise a few eyebrows, but also part of the lure.
It can be tough to get people to try something new, but Imbracsio prides himself on versatility. “Having a wide range of spirits to choose from and a creative drink list is a start, but being able to match a guest with the exact cocktail and experience they are looking for is everything to us.”
You wouldn’t know it from watching him mix up a martini or carve ice for an Old Fashioned, but Imbracsio did a crash course in the art of the proper cocktail before taking over the Rossetti’s bar program. As he describes it: “Crash course is an understatement. My previous bar experience…was an eight-year run behind the bar at a popular steak house, where I could not have picked a bottle of Angostura [bitters] out of a lineup of steak sauces.” A hands-on lesson from owner Chris Rossetti, input from local mixologists, and lots of reading helped Imbracsio gain the techniques he needed.
His Leap of Faith cocktail is a blend of fresh citrus and citrus liqueurs paired with botanicals in gin, and a special floral garnish—a Szechuan button, Acmella oleracea. A species of flowering herb, the button has a light grassy flavor and emits a tingling buzz in the mouth once consumed. “Our goal was to raise the stakes a bit and challenge our guests to take a ‘Leap of Faith’ and let us amaze them.” rossettirestaurant.com
Makes one drink
1 oz. Brockman’s gin
1 oz. Lillet Blanc
1 oz. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 oz. Bauchant orange liqueur
1/2 oz. Combier Pamplemousse grapefruit liqueur
Bar spoon of absinthe
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until cold and strain into a chilled coupe glass rinsed with absinthe.