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Pesca: This peachy cocktail will have you dreaming of summer

Delicate but bold and complex in flavour, the fruity and floral notes of this cocktail taste like a sunny day.

 Written by Holly Walker

A bit of gin, a dash of Aperol and lemon juice are the familiar flavours in this inventive cocktail, but it’s use of Ramazzotti Aperitivo Rosato and Saffron Oleo-Saccharum give it a unique, fruity edge.

Enter Cocktail 101: Think of Ramazotti as a mix between hibiscus and orange with sweet floral aromas that are a delight to inhale. It can be used as an aperitif on its own or, like in this case, used to elevate and create inspired new drinks. The mystical sounding Oleo-Saccahrum comes from the words “oleo,” meaning oil, and “saccharum,” meaning sugar — it’s basically sugared oil, and it’s delicious. 

While the elixir may sound mysterious, it’s quite a simple process of mixing lemon peels with sugar and extracting their flavours. It adds an elegant, citrus taste to the cocktail — and gives the maker an interesting story to tell over happy hour.

All the flavours and aromas combine to create the Pesca, a drink reminiscent of a juicy, ripe summer peach.

Recipe courtesy of Little Italy’s latest, Garrison Creek, by mixologist Mana Moghadam.

Drink Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz. Bombay Sapphire Star of Bombay Gin

  • 0.5 oz. Aperol0.5 oz. Ramazzotti Aperitivo Rosato

  • 0.5 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

  • 0.5 oz. Saffron Oleo-Saccharum *recipe below*

  • Sun-dried (dehydrated) peach slice


Combine all ingredients except the dehydrated peach slice in a shaker.

Add ice, shake vigorously, and double-strain into a chilled coupe glass.

Garnish drink by clipping the sun-dried (dehydrated) peach slice to outer rim of glass with tiny clothespin. 


How to make Mana’s Saffron Oleo Saccharum

  • 2 oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 lime
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf
  • 2 green cardamom pods, cracked open to release the seeds
  • 1½ cups of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of high quality saffron

*Recipe yields approximately ¾  litre of oleo-saccharum. 


Zest the oranges, lemons, lime and grapefruit and set the fruit aside, you will only need the zests of the fruit for this recipe.  Lay out the zests in a medium-sized saucepan and add kaffir lime leaf as well as cardamom seeds and pods, and cover with sugar (set aside 1 tablespoon of the sugar for saffron mixture).  Cover saucepan and let sit for several hours, or overnight at room temperature. 

In a mortar and pestle, combine saffron with 1-tablespoon of the reserved sugar and grind carefully in circular motions until a very fine, powder-like mixture is achieved. Combine powdered saffron sugar with 60 ml of hot water, stir well and set aside to dissolve. This step ensures maximum extraction of colour, aroma and flavour from the saffron. 

After several hours, add 250 ml of boiling water and the dissolved saffron sugar water to the mixture in the saucepan.  Simmer on low-medium heat for 5 minutes or until all sugar is dissolved, and all flavours are married well together.  Remove from heat and let mixture steep for 1 hour.  Strain oleo-saccharum, bottle and refrigerate.