Filling the niche between a killer Manhattan and a mocktail are lower alcohol-by-volume (ABV) sips. These cleverly crafted cocktails contain ingredients like vermouth, liqueurs and bitters that punch up flavor while keeping potency low. And that makes them the perfect beverage for professional gatherings. Los Angeles mixologists Alex Barbatsis and Robert Campbell of Highland Park’s Café Birdie have created three new low-ABV cocktails—Wrong Side of the Tracks, Little Red Corvette and Lust in Lambrusco—made with the recently debuted Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Bitter Liqueur.

Here are the recipes:

Little Red Corvette

  • 1 oz Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Bitter
  • 3/4 oz fresh blood orange juice (or orange juice)
  • 3/4 fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz Peach Liqueur
  • Shake and strain over rocks in old-fashioned glass. Garnish with candied blood orange wheel.

Wrong Side of the Tracks

  • 1 oz Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Bitter
  • 1 oz Navy Strength Gin
  • 3/4 oz Rosé Vermouth
  • Stir on the rocks in an old-fashioned glass, garnish with an orange peel and rose petals.

Lust in Lambrusco 

  • 1 1/2 oz Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Bitter
  • 3 oz Lambrusco wine
  • 1 oz soda water
  • 2 dashes cranberry bitters
  • Build in wine glass, garnish with orange wheel.

Lush Dessert Bar offers a wide variety of grown-up cupcakes made with wine, liqueur and other spirits. The company was originally established as Crav Alcohol Infused Desserts in Wichita, Kansas in 2010. Company founder Nichole Kinchion relocated to Dallas and opened as Lush Dessert Bar in 2017. “Dallas is such a great foodie city, the move has been a real success,” says Kinchion.


Bonus: Meetings and events professionals never have dull meetings!