Passion project

Give Your Spritz a Tropical Twist With Chinola

The passion fruit liqueur tastes great on its own, but it's even better when mixed with sparkling wine.

By Cooper Levey-Baker July 16, 2021

The Aperol or Campari spritz has gone from niche Italian favorite to a staple of bars all across America, and it makes perfect sense. Made with prosecco, a densely flavored liqueur and a splash of soda water, the spritz functions equally well as an aperitif before a big meal or as a light but flavorful drink you can sip by the pool.

The basic formula is also easily adaptable—flexible enough to accommodate all kinds of garnishes and liqueurs, as long as they're not too sweet. I'm here today to suggest one particular way to give your next spritz a tropical twist: Use Chinola.

Made in the Dominican Republic, Chinola is a passion fruit liqueur that hit the market a few years ago. (In Spanish, "passion fruit" is typically translated as "maracuyá," but in the Dominican Republic, it is called "chinola.") Each bottle is made with the juice of between 12 and 18 passion fruits, which is blended with rum. The final product possesses a gorgeous orange color and a cloudy profile, and while it is fruity, it's more tart and floral than sweet, which is exactly why it makes such a nice addition to a spritz.

The company that makes Chinola offers a recipe for what it calls a "Chimosa," which combines one ounce of Chinola with four ounces of a sparkling wine, like prosecco. While the name might place it as similar to a mimosa, I'd argue it's really closer to a spritz, thanks to the 21 percent alcohol content of the liqueur (similar to Campari).

I'd recommend raising the ratio of Chinola to prosecco—mixing one ounce of Chinola to, say, three ounces of prosecco, or following the official spritz recipe of two ounces of liqueur to three ounces of prosecco—in order to amplify the passion fruit flavor. If you want more bubbles, add some soda water or even a splash of lemon Spindrift.

The resulting beverage looks great in a glass, and is a perfect addition to any late summer hang session. A sip will take you from the Amalfi Coast to the Caribbean, and you won't even need to leave your lanai.

Chinola is available at Total Wine & More, 8539 Cooper Creek Blvd., University Park, (941) 351-7895, and 8280 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 918-8075; at select other stores; and online.

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