Basilios Sambanidis - Ousia, NY

Aorato Negroni

Roots Mastiha
Gin
Dry vermouth
Lemon Bitters

unnamed (4).jpg

This cocktail is a twist on a Classic Negroni that not only highlights the beautiful piney and herbaceous notes in Mastiha, but also is part of my journey to reconnect to my Greek heritage.
As a kid raised in New York with a mixed background, it was easy for me to forget my roots. Being that my mother was Brazilian, I have always felt a bit more in tune with my Brazilian side. She made sure I was fluent in Portuguese from birth, and taught me about the culture and traditions by bringing me to Brazil numerous times when I was young.
On the other hand, my father who is a Greek of the diaspora from Constantinople, wanted me to learn Greek but it never stuck with me. While I attended some Greek school for a short while when I was very young, I did not visit Greece till I was 17. During that trip I realized that I had ‘fallen out’ with my Greek Roots and decided to try and reconnect with my Greek heritage and roots.
When I started working at Ousia my eyes were opened to the amazing and unique ingredients that Greece has to offer. Playing with Greek spirits in mixology, I have realized how their base of unique aromatic and therapeutic natural ingredients cannot only be the base to create great cocktails, but raise them to a whole new level semantic experience. Aorato in Greek means invisible. The cocktail is named the Invisible Negroni because it signifies the clarity which I felt from rediscovering my heritage. I can honestly say that my experience working with Greek spirits has been an integral part of my life journey to reconnect to my roots and has rekindled my pride, passion and love for my country, which I once felt so distant from.