Vertigo Cocktail

Vertigo Cocktail
Rob Palmer / Getty Images
Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
298 Calories
0g Fat
51g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 298
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 19mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 51g 19%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 39g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 22mg 108%
Calcium 28mg 2%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 107mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The vertigo is a refreshing drink created by Duggan McDonnell to feature Averna, an Italian amaro (meaning "bitter") that is often enjoyed as a digestif after dinner. In the cocktail, it's treated delicately, paired with nothing else than lemon juice and ginger ale.

This drink couldn't be easier to mix up. There's no need to shake it and you won't need any special bar tools; you'll simply pour. But it's not the ordinary mixed drink because it's dressed up wonderfully with a simple bartender's trick.

The vertigo has a fabulous look because it creates a layer of Averna on top of the sparkling citrus mix. As you drink, the liqueur will melt into the soda and the taste will continue to transform, which adds to the intrigue of drinking it.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a highball glass, stir the lemon juice and ginger ale with ice.

  3. Float Averna on top by slowly pouring it over the back of a bar spoon.

  4. Garnish with a lime wedge. Serve and enjoy.


  • It's interesting that a lime garnish was chosen even though the drink only includes lemon juice. The dual citrus is nice and the drink is delightful when you squeeze the lime wedge into it. However, if you want to save fruit, it will be just as good with a lemon wedge.
  • There should be no problems with Averna floating on top of the drink. Just pour slowly using a spoon to break up the flow and the layer should form naturally.
  • For the ginger ale, consider picking up one that is produced by a craft soda company. You will find that drinks which rely as heavily on soda as this one are best with brands like Q Drinks or Fever-Tree, both of which were designed specifically for cocktails.
  • If you're going top-shelf on the other ingredients, it only makes sense to use fresh lemon juice. You can expect to get 1 3/4 ounces out of the average lemon, so one fruit should be enough for a small dinner party.

Recipe Variations

  • Feel free to try this cocktail with other amaros. Each will have its own flavor contributed by their proprietary blend of herbs, spices, and fruits and most should float relatively well. Look for bottles like Amaro Ramazzotti, Amaro Ciociaro, and Amaro Montenegro.
  • If you prefer, pour another clear soda—keeping quality in mind for the best tasting drink. You might enjoy the vertigo better with club soda or a citrus soda, for instance.

How Strong Is a Vertigo Cocktail?

Averna is bottled at 29 percent ABV and this drink includes a good deal of ginger ale, so it's pretty light. It should have an alcohol content around 8 percent ABV (16 proof), which makes it a perfectly relaxing dessert drink and actually lighter than a glass of wine.