Estivo Cocktail Recipe | Wine Enthusiast Magazine
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Courtesy of Kristen Starks, beverage director, Cosima at Mill No. 1, Baltimore

Starks sought a cocktail to pair with the Sicilian cuisine at this chic Italian spot housed adjacent to an historic mill. “I wanted the cocktail to really show off the bright citrus, herbs and spice characteristics of the region while paying homage to the classic gin and tonic,” she says.

The herbal savory tones of the mead are matched by a syrup steeped with peppercorns and offset by a lavender and citrus tinged gin.


1½ ounces Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin
¼ ounce peppercorn simple syrup (recipe below)
¼ ounce fresh lemon juice
2 ounces Charm City Meadworks’ Basil Lemongrass Mead
1 ounce Fever Tree Tonic Water


Add the first four ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake until chilled. Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice. Top with tonic water, and stir.

To Make Peppercorn Syrup

To make a batch of syrup, bring 2 cups of hot water with 1 cup of black peppercorns to a boil. Remove from heat, stir and let sit until water has taken on a dark brown color but is still warm enough to dissolve sugar (about 3 minutes). Add 1½ cups of granulated sugar and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool, strain in to a mason jar for keeping.

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