Aspen Grille's Sophisticated Sophia Loren Cocktail

October 2020
Written By: 
Paul Grimshaw
Photographs by: 
Paul Grimshaw

This citrusy herbal cocktail from Aspen Grille is perfect year-round 

Bar manager and longtime Grand Strand hospitality fixture “Skully” stands behind a freshly prepared Sophia Loren.

Aspen Grille has a long history of high culinary standards that few Grand Strand eateries can match. Under new ownership (now a sister restaurant to Bistro 90), this commitment to casual fine dining, an unparalleled wine and spirits list and a focus on USDA Prime steaks and seafood continues. Dry-aged cut options like ribeye, filet mignon, New York strip and cowboy ribeye, paired with steak additions like lobster tail, seared scallops, garlic shrimp and lump crab cake, keep diners coming back for more. With all this attention to food and service, it doesn’t mean the cozy, intimate restaurant can’t also let its hair down and have some fun.

The Sophia Loren is a new, original martini, named for Sophia, the hostess and daughter of bartender Rocco. It’s a light, refreshing and complex drink with robust citrus and cheerful herbal notes, making it sure to be a year-round hit. 

We highly recommend letting Rocco or bar manager Skully make you one while you enjoy an appetizer before dinner. If, however, you want to try it at home, here’s how.

The Sophia Loren, exclusive to the Aspen Grille in Myrtle Beach.

Chill a martini glass with ice and water and set aside. In a shaker with ice, mix the following ingredients:

1 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1.5 oz. Kettle One Vodka
2 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
Splash simple syrup
Splash lemon juice

Shake vigorously and set aside. Quickly empty the martini glass of its ice and water and strain the cocktail ingredients into the chilled glass. Next, slowly pour a 1/4-oz. of Luxardo Cherry Juice into the drink. It will settle in the bottom of the glass. 

Finally, slap a whole basil leaf. 

“This releases the oils,” explains Skully. Then, float the leaf on top as a garnish. Sip, enjoy and dare yourself not to immediately make another.

Aspen Grille 
5101 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach
Closed on Mondays, open for dinner Tuesday–Sunday at 4:30 p.m. 
(843) 449-9191