Some might say that gin is little more than flavoured vodka, but the perceived difference between the two is night and day. Whereas traditional vodka is designed to be a neutral spirit – essentially flavourless without any distinctive character, aroma, taste or colour – gin is versatile and exciting. Depending on the manner of which it is distilled and processed, gin can take on many different strengths, tones and tastes, making it a perfect infusion for just about any cocktail.
You’ve probably noticed that cocktail menus have become the norm at restaurants and bars. Gin has fitted well into this updated cocktail culture, as any gin fan will know only a splash is needed to shape a beverage, making it an affordable addition to the cocktail scene.
Gin’s flavour can also be easily transformed by adding various botanical infusions. Delicious and popular options include aniseed, orange peel, lavender and vanilla pods. And unlike beer, wine and other sweetened drinks, gin is surprisingly low in calories (a shot of gin has an average of 72 calories). In other words, one can afford to go a little heavier on the gin without having to sacrifice their diet or healthy lifestyle.
Based in the Italian city of Como, Magi Spirits was born from the idea of Gianna and Marco, a mother and son who combined their passion for botany and distillation to make spirits and liqueurs that could unite both worlds while reflecting Italy’s heritage.
Owing much to the diverse and rich botanicals of Italy, the Magi Spirits team of expert etho-botanists source local botanicals respecting the cycle of nature and guarantee that only the best ingredients are used. Capturing the essence of the mountains, wind and waters of Lake Como, they create a gin worthy of this rather unique place.
In fact, for centuries, local women have searched the meadows around Lake Como for herbs and flowers to prepare traditional medicines and remedies. While some might claim these women had magical healing powers, fine spirits makers consider them potion pioneers.
Expertly distilled with 12 botanicals that include rare ingredients, all hand-picked in the meadows around Lake Como, Rivo Gin has a fresh balsamic aroma with lovely floral and citrus notes. Its taste is complex but soft, fruity and full of citrusy and herbal flavours with a lasting finish characterized by botanical notes underpinning its core bouquet of thyme and lemon balm. Beautifully versatile, this is a gin that makes for an excellent complement to any classic or contemporary cocktail.
Signature Cocktail: The Negroni Italiano
A classic negroni is the original 1:1:1 cocktail (equal parts gin, vermouth, and Campari), however, there’s no shortage of negroni riffs out there, including ones that tweak the ratios to make the drink more gin-forward. As palates have evolved, a more stylish update on this classic drink is the Negroni Italiano, which swaps Campari for amaro – another traditional drink that offers a glimpse into the infinite flavour combinations of the botanical world, and is, on its own, a favoured choice as an after-dinner digestif.
Try the Negroni Italiano:
- 1 oz. Rivo Gin
- 1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
- ½ oz. Venti Amaro
- ½ oz. Bitters
- Garnish – Orange slices
- Stir gin, vermouth, and amaro in an ice-filled mixing glass until very cold, about 30 seconds. Strain cocktail through a strainer or a slotted spoon into an ice-filled rocks glass.
- Add bitters and lightly stir into your cocktail.
- Using a small, serrated knife, remove a 1″ strip of peel from the orange (some white pith is okay); Peel should be stiff enough to provide some resistance when bent. Twist over drink to express oils; discard. Garnish with 1-3 very thin orange slices.