We are here to try their new signature cocktails which blend Italian flavours with an exotic Asian twist. The Rosso Granita Martini is cool and tart, thanks to Absolut, Campari, ruby red grapefruit juice and lemon sorbet, with an attractive topping of whispy red sugar candy. The bitterness of the Campari is smoothed by the unique sweet/sour grapefruit flavour and a burst of citrus from the lemon sorbet, all combining to create a cocktail with great depth.
The Italian Grapefruit Sour is concocted from vodka, Campari, vanilla syrup and homemade pink grapefruit soda. The subtle flavour of vanilla infuses very aspect of this drink, including ice cubes made with vanilla sugar and pod, so it loses none of its flavour, even as the ice melts. Once again the combination of ingredients result in a very enjoyable cocktail – this one is ideal as an aperitif.
The last of the new creations is the Rosso Bacon Mary which combines vodka red wine, lime juice, sweet chilli, tobasco, salt and pepper, which sounds nice and spicy. It comes with a black olive wrapped in bacon on the side.
The chef thoughtfully provides us with some excellent canapés to accompany our drinks. There is goat's cheese wrapped in salami atop slices of cucumber, soft and sweet belinis with salmon and crème fraiche, crunchy asparagus rolls wrapped with Parma ham and emental, and delightful little prawn tartlets with spicy tartare sauce.
The cocktail menu is substantial, with classics such as Sex on the Beach, Cosmopolitan and Mojito; a good mix of Martinis including Lychee Rose and Basil Grande, as well as Bellinis, and some interesting Tequila cocktails – such as the Basil Cactus made with Tequila, Triple Sec, lime, watermelon, basil and ginger ale. Health juices, coffees and a decent selection of wines are also available. Entertainment includes live music with a mix of jazz and pop covers, while the famed Rio Sidiq quartet play monthly. Sunday jazz sessions by the pool are also planned from July. \AB