We have Santa Claus. Italians have La Befana, a witchy-looking old woman with a big heart who visits homes on the night of Jan. 5 to fill children's shoes with candy and small gifts (or coal, if they've been little monsters).
This light, fizzy cocktail recipe is an ode to her holiday spirit — you make it by infusing our Flora with a bit of saffron, then combining the infused Flora with sparkling lemon soda. It feels festive and special — give this little toast when you drink it:
La Befana vien di notte
Con le scarpe tutte rotte
Col vestito alla romana
Viva, Viva La Befana!
(The Befana comes by night
With her shoes all tattered and torn
She comes dressed in the Roman way
Long live the Befana!)
By Alex Utter of Cardinal Spirits
Makes 1 cocktail
1.5 ounces Songbird Flora infused with saffron (instructions follow)
San Pellegrino Limonata (sparkling lemon soda), to tasteLemon wheel, for garnish
Fill a Collins glass with ice, then add Flora. Fill the rest of the way with Limonata, then garnish with a lemon wheel.
To infuse Songbird Flora with saffron: Add a pinch or two of saffron threads to a bottle of Flora and let sit for 2-3 days. Adjust amount of saffron as you see fit, but it shouldn't take much! The color of the Flora should take on a yellowish-orange tint. Strain out the saffron using a coffee filter or fine mesh strainer before using.