December 3, 2012
Darrell Corti, 'Skyfall' and herbal wine meet over cocktails

There's a connection between Sacramento grocer Darrell Corti - an internationally recognized food and wine expert - and "Skyfall," the 23rd James Bond adventure now playing in theaters.

Some context: First there was the Vesper cocktail, the classic "shaken, not stirred" mega-martini that James Bond favored in "Casino Royale." That was the title of the 1953 Ian Fleming thriller that became the 2006 movie that introduced Daniel Craig at Agent 007, in which the Vesper found new cachet.

Inspired by "Skyfall," the head mixologist at the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel in London - Erik Lorincz - decided to "refresh" the ingredients of the Vesper and create a special cocktail called the Skyfall. This is what he came up with; note there are just about 30 milliliters in one ounce:

25 ml. Ketel One vodka
25 ml. Tanqueray No. 10 gin
15 ml. Cocchi Americano
10 ml. plum wine
15 ml. lemon juice
10 ml. yuzu juice
15 ml. sugar syrup
Directions: Shake all the ingredients and strain into a deep champagne glass. Place a lump of ice into the drink and serve.

Note the inclusion of Cocchi Americano. For more than a decade, Corti has carried Cocchi Americano, which he discovered through the Bava family during a visit to Cocconato, Italy. So what may be a key ingredient in a "new" cocktail has been on the Corti Bros. shelves for quite a while.

Soon after the Skyfall cocktail was created, Mindermann received a note a note from Roberto Bava of Giulio Cocchi Spumanti, wich produces Cocchi Americano. "Thanks to Darrell and his team, who discovered Cocchi long ago and helped make it available in the U.S."

If you want want to make a batch of Skyfalls at home, Cocchi Americano is $22.99 for a 750-milliliter bottle. It's more of an herbal aperitif wine than the watery vermouth commonly used in a martini.

Corti Bros. Market is at 5810 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento; (916) 736-3800.

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