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Makin' it with Maren: Mixology Made Easy. A Cocktail Blog.

Italian esacpe? Try my Under The Tuscan Sun Cocktail.

Under the Tuscan Sun Cocktail from #cocktails

Under the Tuscan Sun is one of my favorite books. Written by Frances Mayes, an American journalist, and set in Italy, the book details a summer set in Positano. Mayes, unfamiliar with the Italian lifestyle and her new fixer-upper villa, discovers the labors and love of renovation, cooking, gardening and life. Ever since I finished the pages in her book, I have wanted to experience an Italian getaway of my own and the chance to be creative with their local communities and seasonal offerings.

Since my dream Italian escape is out of my reach at the moment, I do my best to make the most of what I've got. Therefore, on a hot Los Angeles Sunday, I visited the Melrose Farmers Market and grabbed some goodies for cocktail mixing. I came home with kumquats, rosemary and a bunch of other herbs. Kumquats are great because they are sweet and tangy and even their exterior is edible - just beware of the seeds. With a little imagination and some fresh ingredients, I created my new Under the Tuscan Sun cocktail.

Bonne Maman Raspberry Preserves
Kumquats in our Under the Tuscan Sun cocktial recipe (
Arrowhead Sparkling Lemon Water

When you take a sip of a drink and you feel transported to a Italian veranda, then you've done your job right. Look, Italy may cost you thousands of dollars to go visit, so until you're ready to hop on that plane, shake up my new drink, start an Italian Escape Pinterest board, listen to the Italian station on Pandora and take a mini mental vacation to a Tuscan retreat. P.S. Have some sparking Italian rosé wine lying around? Substitute the lemon water with that and really kick this drink up a notch - Italian style!

Under the Tuscan Sun Cocktail

Under the Tuscan Cocktail Recipe on #MakinitwithMaren #cocktails


  • 1 3/4 oz vodka
  • 1/4 oz whipped cream vodka
  • 3 kumquats
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon raspberry preserves
  • sparkling lemon water
  • ice


    Slice kumquats in half and remove seeds with a fork. Add kumquats and half of a rosemary sprig to shaker tin and muddle. Add both vodkas, raspberry preserves and ice. Once your shaker tin is securely covered, shake vigorously. Strain liquid over fresh ice and top with sparkling lemon water (about 2 oz). Stir. Garnish drink with a kumquat and rosemary spring. Enjoy!

    Follow me on Twitter: @MarenSwanson for more mixology tips!

    By: Maren Swanson • July 19th, 2014

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