Big Poppa's Punching Above

Author: Samantha Teague
Photography: Rodney Macuja

A zesty riff on an après-ski pick-me-up.

The team at Big Poppa's, the Sydney bar dedicated to late-night Italian eats, cheese and hip-hop, likes turning things on their heads. For their latest trick they've taken a mandarin liqueur usually served warm on the Italian ski slopes and turned it into a summery apéritif.

"It's super-light and punchy," says Irish-born bar manager Bobby Carey. "I associate Christmas with cold climates, so I like the juxtaposition of using the liqueur in the summertime in Australia." For a garnish, Carey suggests "an obnoxious swatch of orange peel to delight the senses and dry out your nose". Buon Natale.

Pour 25ml gin, 25ml Dubonnet and 10ml Varnelli Punch alla Fiamma Mandarino into a tumbler or mixing glass filled with ice. Stir for 30 seconds, then double-strain into a chilled Nick and Nora glass. Squeeze a piece of orange peel over the surface of the drink to spritz it with  orange oil, then drop the peel into the glass and serve.

Big Poppa's, 96 Oxford St, Darlinghurst, NSW,

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