Cocktails with an Italian Twist

If you are a fan of fine food, craft beers and excellent wines, you are likely a fan of craft cocktails. Why do we use the term “craft” cocktails. Why not simply say cocktails? At M’tucci’s Italian and M’tucci’s Moderno, we use the word craft cocktails, because we have elevated the ingredients, the techniques and the attention to detail that makes our cocktails special.

The Boulevardier, made with Knob Creek Rye Whiskey, Campari and Cinzano 1757 Sweet Vermouth.

The Boulevardier, made with Knob Creek Rye Whiskey, Campari and Cinzano 1757 Sweet Vermouth.

Craft means using the best ingredients: fresh juices, house made syrups and high quality liquor. The craft cocktail relies on the sum of the best ingredients. A margarita made with a “margarita mix” is a sad version of one made with fresh lime juice.

Technique includes proper measurements to achieve balance - you’ll notice our most experienced bartenders using a shot glass most of the time. Should a drink be shaken or stirred? Both are done to create the perfect cocktail by diluting the drink with ice/water. There is the correct amount of time to shake or stir a drink to achieve that perfect dilution. Whether you are making a martini or a manhattan, make three drinks and stir three different lengths of time (5, 10 or 15 seconds) and taste the difference. Apologies to Ian Fleming and James Bond, but we would never shake a martini.

Attention to details refers to proper technique, but it also refers to the proper garnish or the proper glass and how both affect the flavor and aroma of the cocktail. Do you express a lemon twist over glass and discard it, or rub it around the rim and discard it, or do you two both and then slip it into the drink? All garnish methods will affect the first sip, where you expect to sit back and say, Ahhhhh.

All of our bartenders are trained that all of the above are important, and they bring that training, skill and passion for the perfect cocktail to work every day. Some of them love to make infusions for our drinks and several of them have created a cocktail now on our drinks menu.


As warmer weather and summer approach, we start thinking about lighter drinks and the Italians have those drinks perfected. Using a blend of herbaceous aperitivi, Prosecco and vermouths, Italian culture (and M’tucci’s Restaurants) embrace cocktails created for before-meal drinking, which will stimulate your taste buds with low-alcohol combinations.


One of our favorite bittersweet Italian bottles is Aperol, a light (11% Alcohol by Volume ABV) apertivo which can be used in many variations, but is most popularly used in an Aperol Spritz, equal parts Aperol, Prosecco and seltzer of Club Soda, garnished with a slice of orange.

The other favorite is Campari, slightly higher in alcohol than Aperol (24% ABV), but about the same as most light Amari, it’s another style of bitter Italian alcohol. Campari can simply be a highball with seltzer and a piece of lemon. It’s definitely the star of the Negroni, the Boulevardier and the Americano. Next time you come to M’tucci’s Italian, ask Trey to make a Negroni Sbagliato for you. Watch him smile and you can thank me later.

Want to learn more about making cocktails at home, how to stock a basic home bar, and more? Stay tuned to this space and our Social Media feeds for an announcement about our Cocktails Classes - Coming Soon!

Aperol Spritz is made with Aperol and Ruffino Prosecco and seltzer water.

Aperol Spritz is made with Aperol and Ruffino Prosecco and seltzer water.

Negroni made with Bulldog Gin, Campari and Cinzano 1757 Sweet Vermouth garnished with an orange slice.

Negroni made with Bulldog Gin, Campari and Cinzano 1757 Sweet Vermouth garnished with an orange slice.


Aperol Spritz

2 oz Aperol, 2-3 oz Prosecco or dry Sparkling Wine, 2 oz cold Seltzer

Pour Aperol into a wineglass, add ice, then add sparkling wine and seltzer and stir gently. Garnish with orange slice (or try a grapefruit slice for a different flavor)


1 oz. Gin, 1 oz Sweet Italian Vermouth, 1 oz. Campari

Stir ingredients in a cocktail shaker, strain into an Old-Fashioned glass, add ice and orange slice

M’tucci’s Family Gallery

Joe Romero, bartender extraordinaire at M’tucci’s Italian. Omar Rosas. Chef de Cuisine at M’tucci’s Moderno. Justin Sandoval, Sous Chef at M’tucci’s Italian Market & Pizzeria.


M’tucci’s Italian - Our weekend specials will feature a Pan-Seared New Zealand Swordfish and Grilled New Zealand Lamb Chops with Creamy Polenta and Summer Vegetables.

Mother’s Day, May 12 - We are nearly full for the day and evening, so why not bring Mom on Saturday night if you can’t get the reservation you want on Sunday. Or better yet, honor your Mother with a M’tucci’s Gift Certificate. Both M’tucci’s Italian and Moderno will open for brunch at 10:00am and offer a couple of specials and a surprise for Mothers.

M’tucci’s Moderno - Specials for the weekend are Pan-Seared Bay Scallops and Lobster Ravioli (a Rio Rancho favorite).

Mother’s Day, May 12: Brunch starts at 10:00am, so make your reservations now!

Tonight (May 2) 7:00: Oscar Butler Live in the Bar

Friday, May 3, 8:30: Leah Leyva Live in the Bar

M’tucci’s Italian Market & Pizzeria

May 31, 6:00 - Beer Week Collaboration with Dialogue Brewing. Four course menu paired with Dialogue’s European style beers. Tickets available at Dialogue Taproom, 1501 1st St NW. $40 per person.

May 23- June 2: Beer Week Tap Takeover with Steel Bender Brewyard - We’ll feature SkullBucket IPA, ETTu Brut IPA, Berliner Weiss and the Kolsch. Albuquerque Beer Week

Every Thursday - Sunday: Order M’tucci’s pizzas, sandwiches and boards while visiting La Cumbre Westside. The patio is the place to be!


M’tucci’s Monthly Photo Contest

Our April winner was Megan McNutt, shown sipping an Espresso Martini at M’tucci’s Italian. She shared the photo on her Instagram feed and had 68 likes. She receives a $50 gift certificate to any M’tucci’s location. The May contest is underway, so enter soon and enter often. Post a photo from M’tucci’s with friends, food or beverages on your Facebook page or your Instagram feed and tag the photo #lovemtuccis. The winning photo is chosen from the three photos with the most likes.

April Photo Contest Winner!

April Photo Contest Winner!


Area service industry workers can get a Service Industry card from us by showing proof of employment. With the card you receive 10% off your check every day and 20% off on Sundays from 6:00 - 9:00. Dine in only.


New specials for the month of May will be published in this space next Tuesday or Wednesday. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram every Wednesday.


Our food is available for delivery with Door Dash or for pick up. Pick up something for the weekend or on your way home from work. The links to ordering are on the Home page.


Videos about making cocktails and pasta and getting to know the M’tucci’s culture. Click here


Receive an email when La Gazzeta is published each Thursday. Simply use the form at the bottom left of the page. We promise not to share your email, or bother you with unwanted promotions.