Last Call

What the Heck Is a Soledan Cocktail -- and How to Make It

There are a number of things I love about my career as a bartender. One excellent part is that when I take my work home with me, that means it's time to try some new cocktails. A favorite source of mine is the nice folks at the Phoenix Public Library. They have an excellent selection classic books (including Dale DeGroff's masterworks The Craft of the Cocktail and The Essential Cocktail), brand-new essentials (The PDT Cocktail Book), and everything in between. You can even go on their website to reserve a book, and pick it up at the branch most convenient to you. Oh, yeah, did I mention it's all free if you live in Maricopa County?

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On a recent outing, I stumbled upon Good Spirits, a sizable tome by A.J. Rathbun. I take some issue with the hodgepodge organization of the book (going by 12 themes instead of a straightforward A-to-Z), but it's still fun to browse. I had the good fortune to have the book fall open to a cocktail I'd never heard of before: Soledan.

Mr. Rathbun found Soledan in a slim Italian book that looks like it was made for the dollar rack at Barnes & Noble (or the Italian equivalent). While most of those books are filled with questionable cocktails that look like the also-rans from liquor promotional materials, this one hit paydirt.

If my memory serves me correctly, this is the first time I've written about a vodka drink. It's not that I have anything against vodka. It's just that it's a neutral player, adding nothing to a drink except intoxicative powers. This time, the supporting ingredients have enough going on that vodka's blank canvas is perfect. That said, I'm more than a little tempted to try it with gin soon and see how that goes.

Soledan Use an easy hand when pouring the Midori; the Aperol should take center stage. 1 ounce vodka ½ ounce Aperol ¼ ounce Midori Prosecco, chilled

In a large goblet (or Collins glass), combine vodka, Aperol, and Midori over ice. Stir gently to combine. Top with Prosecco to fill glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.