Cracco’s gin

The chef from Vicenza signs a limited edition spirit. Among the chosen botanicals, mango and shiso

02-10-2016
Left to right, chef Carlo Cracco, the bartender a

Left to right, chef Carlo Cracco, the bartender at Carlo e Camilla in Segheria Filippo Sisti, and Jake Burger, master blender at Portobello Road Gin, in a picture taken early in September. The distillery with headquarters at number 171 in the popular road in London convinced the chef from Vicenza to select a series of botanicals to produce a signature London Dry Gin, a limited edition of only 1,000 bottles. We’ll taste it soon

As of the end of October, we’ll be able to taste in Italy a gin signed by chef Carlo Cracco and Filippo Sisti, the cocktail-maker at Carlo e Camilla in Segheria. A limited edition of one thousand bottles for a London Dry Gin distilled by English firm Portobello Road, who were struck some time ago by a visit to the second restaurant in Milan of the chef from Vicenza.

They were so thrilled by the successful combination of cuisine and creative cocktails that soon after that master distiller Jake Burger asked Cracco to follow another famous chef, Brett Graham, 2 Michelin stars at the Ledbury in Notting Hill, London, in the Local Heroes project: the chosen chef is basically asked to select a series of botanicals – vegetable extracts – to be added to the basic aromas of the London Dry Gin, that is to say juniper berries, coriander, angelica and iris.

The label of the Portobello Dry Gin, Local Heroes limited edition, personalised by Carlo e Camilla in Segheria, with an Italian flag too

The label of the Portobello Dry Gin, Local Heroes limited edition, personalised by Carlo e Camilla in Segheria, with an Italian flag too

Cracco and Sisti took a plane and entered the distillery at number 271 in the popular Portobello Road. Sitting around the table with Burger, they chose dried and rehydrated mango, roasted mango peel, shiso, dill, bergamot and timut pepper (the latter is a «pepper from the Sichuan family», Sisti points out, «and has a special grapefruit note»).

«We chose mango», says Cracco, «so as to make a gin with a more exotic and tropical nuance, with a light softer note so as to meet the tastes of women: it’s so dry women often keep a distance from Gin tonic and Martini Cocktail». In a certain sense, for the chef from Vicenza this is a trip down memory lane: «Gin became trendy some fifteen years ago in the Basque Country, thanks to Rafa Garcia Santos [the curator of Lo Mejor de la Gastronomia, the first signature cuisine congress in the world]. We would serve it at the end of the meal in Via Victor Hugo, but when it became trendy we removed it from the list».

In around one month’s time we’ll find the Portobello Dry Gin Local Heroes with an Italian flag on the label and Cracco’s signature on the shelves of the Segheria. Retail price: around 40 euros. Filippo Sisti has already studied a cocktail. Here’s the recipe.

Carlo Cracco testing the botanicals in London, last September 7th

Carlo Cracco testing the botanicals in London, last September 7th

Tropical London
45 ml Portobello Road Gin Local Heroes
10 ml lime
granadilla pudding
top with grape beer

«The granadilla pudding», the mixologist from Pavia points out, «is prepared like a base for yogurt or curd cakes. We add some almond shells to the mixture, put it into a vacuum bag and cook it at a constant temperature. The drink will represent the so-called eggnog category, that is to say Italian zabaglione, using this mixture instead of the egg. It is presented in a flûte glass, with a chocolate egg on top, inside which there’s a bit of this mixture, to be drank as with a soft boiled egg».


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