A simple and delightful brandy cocktail, the Fabiola offers orange and vermouth accents for a flavorful experience. It makes a fabulous aperitif that you can enjoy before any dinner, no matter what's on the menu.
This recipe takes the metropolitan, to another level by adding Grand Marnier to the classic brandy-sweet vermouth cocktail. It also uses a more delicate sweet vermouth, Cinzano Bianco, which looks like dry vermouth but is definitely on the sweeter side. It's an excellent pairing for the brandy and Grand Marnier without adding more sweetness than is necessary. Many other sweet vermouths can create a cocktail that is almost too cloying.
Gather the ingredients.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the sweet vermouth, brandy, and orange liqueur.
Serve and enjoy!
- Chilling your glass will definitely make a better tasting cocktail. If you don't have room in the freezer to store cocktail glasses (they are space hogs), opt for a quick chill. Simply place a couple of ice cubes in the glass while you mix the drink, then discard them before straining.
- Choose a mid-range to top-shelf brandy for the Fabiola. The quality should match that of Grand Marnier and Cinzano Bianco.
- A simple orange twist makes a nice garnish that will dress up this drink. Before laying it on the rim, give the twist a gentle squeeze to express the peel's oils into the cocktail for a beautiful accent.
- Try this cocktail with dry vermouth if you cannot find Cinzano Bianco. You'll find that the orange liqueur sweetens this variation delightfully well.
- This is also an excellent option for other real fruit brandies. Standard brandy is made from grapes, though other fruits like apple, apricot, and cherry are available as well and will put a nice, fruity twist on the Fabiola. The trick to maintaining the drink's balance is to use an eau de vie, brandy that is not sweetened; many of the non-grape flavored brandies include sugar, technically making them liqueurs. Read the labels and choose wisely.
- Grand Marnier has a brandy base, so it's a natural choice for this cocktail. A worthy substitute is the Italian Gran Gala. If you're going to substitute it with another orange liqueur, be sure to keep quality in mind.