Little Sail Cocktail

Shelby Allison

Lost Lake, Chicago

A low-alcohol riff on the classic espresso and tonic, the Little Sail is a sparkling brunch cocktail with an herbaceous top note from the amaro and hints of Caribbean spices that play nicely with coffee and coconut water. It’s perfect as a gentle “hair of the dog.”

This is a recipe from our digital cookbook, "A Place at the Table" featuring our Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership (WEL) program alum. Download the full cookbook.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes, plus 24 hours to steep the syrup


For the spiced demerara syrup:

1/2 cup demerara (brown raw cane) sugar

1/2 cup water

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 teaspoon allspice berries

1/4 teaspoon whole cloves

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


For the cocktail:

1 1/4 ounce Cynar

1 ounce coconut water

1 ounce cold brew coffee

1/4 ounce spiced demerara syrup (see above)

1 ounce tonic water

Mint sprig, for garnish


Make the syrup: in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, cinnamon stick, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg. Stir the mixture over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the ingredients are well incorporated, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set the mixture aside to steep for 24 hours. Strain and discard the spices, and refrigerate the syrup for up to one month.

Make the cocktail: in a mixing glass filled with ice, combine the Cynar, coconut water, coffee, and syrup, and stir to combine. Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled with ice, top with the tonic water, and garnish with the mint.


Makes one cocktail