When Jordan Salcito is throwing a party, best to arrive thirsty!
Surely there could be no better host than the acclaimed sommelier and Founder of Ramona, the cult-favorite canned spritz company making cocktails a breeze.
Hot on the release of her newest flavor, Amarino - a bitter orange varietal that's an all season spritz you so won't be able to resist - Jordan's spilling her top entertaining tips, from how she stocks her bar cart to her pro strategy for avoiding a hangover!
How will you be celebrating the holidays this year?
Every year we go to Colorado and celebrate Christmas and New Years in the mountains, near Beaver Creek. My husband and I bring our two boys and get to spend a week or two.
Which types of parties are your favorite to host?
Dinner parties, when I can cook for a wonderful group of girlfriends, 10 people or so to keep things interesting and intimate.
What's one thing every great soirée needs?
A crisp drink as soon as you walk in the door.
What's your biggest party pet peeve?
When people arrive early for a dinner party — especially without warning!
What items do you always have on your bar cart?
- A vintage Saint Louis Hermes crystal cocktail shaker
- Vintage silver double jigger
- Vintage citrus juicer
- Yamazaki Whisky (18 year old)
- Pinhook Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon
- Le Citron de Roulot
- A bottle of Rochelt “Williamsbirne” I brought back in a suitcase from Austria
What's your festive sip of choice?
Currently I’m fond of the Amarino, then Champagne one-two punch.
Champagne-wise my go-tos are Champagne Savart, Bérêche e Fils, Ulysses Collin, Jérôme Prévost's “La Closerie.”
Where did the inspiration behind your newest Amarino flavor come from?
I fell in love with the slightly bitter Italian aperitivo spritzes during a particularly rainy harvest in Italy (2008), when the daily afternoon spritz marked a moment of happiness. The spritz has a fascinating history and its current iteration grew out of the Italian Futurist Art Movement at the turn of the 20th century, when artists (& mixologists) wanted to celebrate “newness” and the future, instead of the past. In 2006, Campari & Aperol changed their recipe and began using coal-tar based dyes to get that bright red color (in place of carmine, a coloring made from tiny insects). Coal tar is a petroleum by-product that is also used, among other things, to kill and repel head lice. It’s been linked to cancer as well as ADAH and hyperactivity in children.
My inspiration for Amarino was that carefree, joyful ‘spritz’ moment -- without the petroleum byproducts, artificial flavor and cane sugar.
What's the classiest way to serve Ramona?
I love drinking it in a stemmed cocktail glass, garnished with a wide lemon twist.
Any tips for avoiding a holiday party hangover?
Drink a glass of water for every glass of booze, and stick to wines / cocktails / etc made from organic ingredients.
What hostess gifts do you most covet?
Anything made by a woman who is helping to improve the world.
What are you most excited for next?
My husband and I are going to Paris next month - I’m excited to travel again!