Italy, a country of gorgeous sites, amazing food and wine, is home to some of the world’s most complex spirits. The popularity of amaros in Italy, bitter herbal liqueurs commonly drunk after dinner as a digestif, have become go-to ingredients for cocktails here in Los Angeles. The bar menu at Il Covo on 3rd Street features several classic and modern Italian cocktails. As Il Covo’s bartender David Fisher (AKA “Hardcore Dave”) stirs, shakes, and pours offerings from the cocktail menu, the flavors of Italy come shining through.
Call ahead to make a reservation for a table in the cozy dining room or romantic patio. Then plan to spend some time enjoying Il Covo’s Italian cocktails, extensive wine list, and menu that celebrate classic and modern Italian flavors. Or just head over to Il Covo and grab a bar stool – Viva Italia!
Starting of with the Negroni, Fisher makes this classic Italian cocktail with Beefeater Gin, Camapari, Carpano Antica, garnished with a generous slice of orange. When crafting this strong drink into a balanced version of the much loved libation, the Il Covo owners thought about what they love about Negronis when they visit Italy. This led a mission to get just the right spirits and proportions. For anyone who likes the bitter-sweet herb, spice, and fruit peel flavors in Campari, Il Covo’s version of this drink satisfies.
This classic Italian cocktail serves up Italian flavors for anyone who wants to order something lighter and bubbly. The combination of Aperol, prosecco, with a splash of club soda, is poured over ice and garnished with orange. In this drink the Aperol, a bitter orange apertif, has the ability to conjure up the Italian Riviera, Capri, and Amalfi coast all in one sip. Try it at Il Covo, then at home. The Aperol Spritz also has the advantage of being so easy to make that even the most inexperienced home bartender can impress their guests by whipping up a tray for a cocktail party.
At Il Covo, they call their modern Italian version of the popular Moscow Mule – a Mulo Romano. Made with Svedka Vodka, Ramazzotti, ginger beer, lemon and mint, this refreshing cocktail pairs well with brunch dishes, light lunches, and for anyone who likes a fresh citrusy minty easy drinking beverage. With the gingery bitter-sweet flavors, it’s easy to taste why the aromatic Ramazzotti is one of the most popular amaros in Italy. Imagine sipping a tall glass of Mulo Romano sitting by the pool at the Hotel Cipriani in Venezia – heaven.
Made with Starr African Run and Liquore Strega, Fisher begins this cocktail preparation by muddling fresh strawberries. He then adds the rum, Strega, simple syrup, and lemon and shakes vigorously then strains it over ice into an old fashioned glass. Stregato Dolce translates to Sweet Witch. It’s fruity but not overly sugary, an inspired balance of spirit to berry and citrus.
The Fernet Segale packs a punch and will satisfy cravings for classic spirit forward cocktails. Fisher makes this drink by stirring Jim Beam Rye, Lucardo Fernet, bitters, and lemon, The Fernet Segale is Il Covo’s version of a Italian style Manhattan. Strong and balanced, this drink pairs well with the richer dishes on the menu.
Julie Wolfson is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. She covers travel, lifestyle, art, pop culture, cocktails and food for Cool Hunting and several other media outlets. Most days you’ll find her out and about in Southern California and around the world tracking down stories about talented people doing amazing things.