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An Italian Christmas Eve Cocktail

An Italian Christmas Eve Cocktail

Last December, I had the pleasure of attending an incredible Feast of the Seven Fishes at one of Brooklyn’s most iconic eateries, Franny’s. It was easily one of the best meals of my life, not only because it touched on my own Italian Christmas Eve memories and surpassed every culinary expectation, but also because of the interesting and impressive beverage pairings.
By Carly DeFilippo


While I could wax rhapsodic about many of the wines I tasted that evening, the drink that stood out to me most was the refreshing—and seemingly simple—welcome cocktail, which I remembered as a sort of carbonated (and alcoholic) anise lemonade.

So nearly one year later, I reached out to Franny herself, to try and recreate the original drink. Simple to prepare, it’s an excellent palate opener and especially wonderful for any seafood-centric feast. If you’re Italian—or celebrating like one—give it a try this Christmas Eve!

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Christmas Eve Aperitivo

Kick off your Feast of the Seven Fishes with this light and refreshing cocktail, featuring notes of tangerine, citron and anise.

  • Author: Francine Stephens
  • Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 1 oz Kettle Citroen (or other citron-flavored vodka)
  • 1/2 oz Meletti Anisette
  • 1 tangerine (or 1.2 oz tangerine juice)
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • club soda


  1. Fill a Collins glass with ice. Set aside
  2. Juice one tangerine over a strainer (to catch seeds). Set liquid aside.
  3. Combine tangerine juice with vodka, anisette and simple syrup over ice. Stir until well mixed.
  4. Refresh collins glass with two new ice cubes. Pour tangerine, vodka, anisette mixture into the glass. Top with cold club soda.


While Franny likes to serve this cocktail in a Collins glass, I also enjoy it without ice in a small Picardie tumbler.

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