The Donna Reed Cocktail

The Donna Reed cocktail riffs on a classic Negroni, but coconut liqueur—inspired by the film "It's a Wonderful Life"—gives it an underlying tropical twist.
Photo by Dominic Episcopo

Sarah Morrissey, beverage director, Pig Bleecker, New York City

Although this drink is very similar to the classic Negroni, a small dose of coconut liqueur adds a subtle tropical note that elevates the flavor profile. Why coconut? Sarah Morrissey drew inspiration from classic holiday film It’s a Wonderful Life, which features actress Donna Reed. “She orders chocolate ice cream from George [Bailey] when they are kids, and he says she should put coconut on it,” says Morrissey. “I love that scene.”

The Velvet Touch Cocktail

Make It a Royale

Pouring some bubbly into your cocktail is a technique known as the “royale.” You probably know the Kir Royale, which is cassis liqueur topped with sparkling wine. The same effect applies here. A growing number of bars offer the option to “royale” a finished cocktail to add a bit of effervescence. We love that this has become a verb—and we also love this as a way make your favorite holiday cocktails sparkle straight into a New Year’s Eve-ready toast.
Ingredients for the Donna Reed
  • 1 ounce Plymouth Gin
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • ¼ ounce Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
  • ¼ ounce Kalani Coconut Rum Liqueur
  • Grapefruit peel, for garnish
  • Small glass of Champagne, optional
Directions

In mixing glass, stir together first four ingredients­ with ice. Strain into rocks glass over large piece of ice. Garnish with grapefruit peel.

Serve with small glass or carafe of Champagne, if desired, which may be poured over drink.

Published on November 10, 2017
About the Author
Kara Newman 
Spirits Editor

Kara Newman reviews spirits and writes about spirits and cocktail trends for Wine Enthusiast. She's the author of Shake.Stir.Sip.: 40 Effortless Cocktails Made In Equal Parts (Chronicle Books, 2016) as well as ROAD SODA: Recipes and techniques for making great cocktails, anywhere (Dovetail Press, 2017). Email: spirits@wineenthusiast.net



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