Chefs Lenzi’s mission is to deliver classic Italian cuisine with a modern flair, and the menu is just one of the many highlights of this waterfront restaurant. Al Lago is perched just above the lake with perfect views of the scenery through brilliant Moltrasio stone archways. There is a magnificent outdoor terrace, making it an equally visual delight as much as culinary delight.
This Seasons Drink Trends
While the food is, of course, phenomenal, the cocktail and wine menus shouldn’t be overlooked. The menus, created by Bar Director Vidura Nilaksha Colambage, feature refreshing summer drinks, locally inspired cocktails and an elevated wine selection. Considering the restaurant’s sterling reputation for embracing the contemporary, it’s no wonder that Colambage keeps a close eye on trends while compiling the featured libations. “For this year, expect to see mocktails, simple drinks, less sugar, and fermented [drinks],” Colambage says. “We also will focus on sustainability and reusing materials with less waste.” Some of the most popular cocktails on the menu include Geisha, which features Japanese whiskey, sake, yuzu, fresh raspberries, and powdered liquorice; Blackmirror, a twist on a Bloody Mary; Clarified Tomato, a tequila drink infused with white basil and a secret mix of spices; and Aam Panna, a remake of an Indian summer drink with unripe mango, Seedlip (non-alcoholic liquor), and mint.
Locally Inspired Drinks
Al Lago and its fabulous F&B team also recently announced a new botanical cocktail and mocktail concept, inspired by the hotel’s vertical botanical garden by leading botanist Patrick Blanc. (We suggest taking a tour of the area’s stunning gardens while you’re here.) Refreshing summer drinks feature plant and floral compositions, including herbs from the on-property garden, combining both seasonality and sustainability. The mocktails will also complement the chef’s tasting menu dishes. For example, the mocktail Serenity will pair with the Fruit and Vegetable Minestrone dessert.
Lake Como Wine
Wine is also an important part of Il Sereno’s drink menu. If you’re seeking some direction, one of Colambage’s top local wine recommendations is Cantine Angelinetta La Moglie Del Re. “This wine comes directly from Lake Como and is made with 100% Verdese grape, a rare autoctone variety from the area,” Colambage says. “This product presents a low acidity, a great sapidity, showing a pleasant balance. Ready from a young age, after a few years in the bottle, La Moglie Del Re develops intriguing balsamic scents, liquorice, and flint.”
Your Al Lago Drink Recipe
Want to bring Il Sereno to your home bar? Colambage suggests that the key staples every budding mixologist needs are SCOBY for brewing kombucha, a collection of whiskey, and spices. Colambage details the recipe for the mocktail Serenity below. Serenity Mocktail 1/2 oz passion fruit syrup 1/2 oz beer and chamomile reduction 1/3 oz lime Top with soda Passion fruit syrup: Mix the same weight of passion fruit pulp and cane sugar until the latter dissolves. Filter and store it in a fridge. Beer and chamomile reduction: You need 11 oz alcohol-free beer, ¼ cup of brown cane sugar, and 1 tsp of dried chamomile. Put all the ingredients in a pan and simmer until the liquid is reduced by 70%. Let it cool, filter, and store it in a fridge. Sorrel soda: You need 1 cup of green sorrel, 1/2 tsp of ascorbic acid, and 25 oz of cold water. Blend all the ingredients in a mixer, filter the result, and put it into a soda siphon with a one charge of gas. Store it in a fridge. Instructions: In a highball glass mix 1/2 oz of passion fruit syrup, ½ oz of chamomile and beer reduction, and 1/3 oz fresh lime. Fill the glass with crushed ice, top with sorrel soda and mix it well. To complete it, garnish it with red sorrel.