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al mare Cherry Gin Martini

Il Buco al Mare’s Cherry Gin Martini (Photo credit: il Buco al Mare/Brynn Rodie)

Season really matters at il Buco al Mare in Amagansett—so much so, that when we asked them if they’d work with us on a cocktail for Southside Sips, head bartender Stephanie McMahon submitted a different recipe altogether, but then re-thought it: No, she told us, it needs to be more seasonal; more apropos of spring, undoubtedly upon us now.

Look around. Cherry blossoms are exploding from tree branches, and floating in the air like a blizzard of pink snowflakes all over the East End. It’s magical, right? McMahon was inspired by those annual blooms (and the beautiful sunny week we had) and who could blame her? Gin, too, with its bevy of botanicals feels right this time of year—and really, there’s so much more to life than G&Ts. It’s a spirit, like the seasons, that inspires creativity.

“At il Buco al Mare, just like our food, we like to keep our cocktails fresh and vibrant featuring house-made syrups and juices,” says McMahon. “With nuanced, clean and bright flavors, each of our cocktails is designed to complement our seasonally inspired dishes.”

Head on over to Il Buco al Mare and let McMahon shake you up a glass of her spring inspiration. Or, if you like, try your hand at making it at home. We’re partial to upping the ante on the botanical component, and opt for New York Distilling Company’s gloriously floral Dorothy Parker Gin (grab a bottle at Hampton Bays Wine & Spirits, 46 E. Montauk Highway, 631-728-8595). Whatever you pick, though, listen to McMahon: Make sure your ingredients are fresh and you’ll be on your way to stellar spring sipping.

il Buco al Mare’s Cherry Gin Martini

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Serves 1 cocktail


  • 1/2 oz Luxardo Cherry Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup
  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 1 spoonful cherry jam
  • 1 Luxardo (or other high-quality) cocktail cherry
  • 1 dehydrated lemon wheel

Simple syrup

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water


  • In a shaker without ice, add in the Luxardo cherry liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup, gin and the spoonful of jam.
  • Shake vigorously for about 10 seconds.
  • Add in ice, and shake again; about 5 seconds.
  • Strain into a coupe glass.
  • Garnish with the cherry and dehydrated lemon wheel. Cheers!

Simple Syrup

  • Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Stirring occasionally, allow the sugar to completely dissolve.
  • Cook for about 10 minutes total, until the mixture starts to become syrupy in appearance.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool. Store in a glass jar with a lid for up to two weeks.