Bring a taste of the Dolomites—Italy’s northern Alpine region—home with this refreshing botanical cocktail that we love to introduce to travellers during aperitivo, a mid-day lunch refresh or after a hike.
It’s best paired with regional specialties like Speck (cold, smoked pork cured with Juniper), mountain cheeses, and the regional bread shuttelbrot, a dried bread often made with cumin or fennel seed.
A Brief History
The ‘Hugo’ was created in Italy’s northern province, known officially as South Tyrol, by bartender Roland Gruber who had had the brilliant idea to add aroma to a classic glass of Prosecco using fresh mint and Melissa cordial.
Melissa cordial is rare and only produced in small quantities, usually homemade. In recent years, it has been substituted by the more commonly found Elderflower cordial.
‘Hugo’ also happens to be the name of one of our beloved Dolomites hoteliers. If you’ve been to the Dolomites with us before, you probably were lucky enough to make his acquaintance; Hugo often welcomes our travellers at the front door of his hotel, the Rosa Alpina, after a long day of hiking in the mountains.
In addition to his boutique hotel, Hugo offers a charming and rustic private cabin perched further up the mountain.
Guests can opt to spend the night here for a quiet evening in nature or visit for an evening for sunset cocktails and a candle-lit meal.
The Hugo – A Dolomites Elixir
– 30ml of elderflower cordial (syrup)
– 1 dash of soda water
– Prosecco to top up
– Fresh mint
– Lemon or lime slice (Other options include a slice of fresh ginger or red apple)
Scoop a handful of ice into a large wine glass along with some torn mint leaves. Swirl the glass to chill it. Add the elderflower cordial with a splash of soda water then top up with Prosecco. Give a quick stir and garnish with a slice or two of lemon or lime (or the other options noted). Enjoy!