The Perfect Autumn Cocktail Recipe: Donostia Askatuta

A cozy drink from "A Bartender’s Guide to the World: Cocktails and Stories from 75 Places" by Lauren Mote and James O. Fraioli.

If an espresso martini hopped on a quick flight to Donostia, a city in the Basque region of Spain—then this is the cocktail it would become. Inspired by an autumn trip taken by our 2015 Bartender of the Year Lauren Mote and her husband, chef Jonathan Chovancek, this apple-forward sipper invokes the city’s epic burnt-top cheesecakes, bustling tapas bars and unique local ciders. 

Donostia Askatuta


¾ ounce (22.5 mL) Spanish brandy

¾ ounce (22.5 mL) amontillado sherry

2 ounces (60 mL) brewed black tea, cool

¾ ounce (22.5 mL) apple syrup

2 dashes peach bitters (like Bittered Sling Clingstone Peach)

1 egg white

1 dried apple slice (for garnish)

HOT TIP: If you’re concerned about the food safety of raw eggs, use 1 ounce (30 mL) pasteurized liquid egg whites in place of the egg white.

Cocktail on wooden board with cheesecake next to it
Photo: Jonathan Chovancek


1.  To a shaker, add the brandy, sherry, tea, syrup, bitters and egg white. Dry shake (without ice) for 5 seconds. 

2. Open the shaker and add cubed ice. Tightly close the shaker and shake again (this allows the egg white to emulsify with the other ingredients and get frothy). 

3. Using a small fine-mesh bar sieve to catch the loose ice chips, double strain into a cocktail glass or coupe. 

4. Garnish with a dried apple slice across the top of the drink. Serves 1.


Excerpted from A Bartender’s Guide to the World: Cocktails and Stories from 75 Places by Lauren Mote and James O. Fraioli. Copyright © 2022 Lauren Mote and James O. Fraioli. Cover and book design by Terri Nimmo. Cover and book photography by Jonathan Chovancek. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.