Mad Men, the hugely popular TV show, reminded us that in the fifties the glamour of mixed drinks and their hip appeal was in full swing. Across the pond, however, Italy’s sense of style positioned us to formulate delicious concoctions in uniquely shaped glasses. This influence on style cemented our role to strengthen the attraction of a cocktail.
Mixed in an old-fashioned rocks glass, the Italian drink Negroni, was often served pre-dinner. The ingredients are stirred directly in the glass and garnished with a ½ slice of orange wheel.
1/3 Dry Gin
1/2 Sliced Orange Wheel
Now it is time to get this party started!
Set the tone for a successful cocktail party with the Bellini. Its thirst quenching properties are the highlight to any afternoon event. Delicious and refreshing, this blend of ingredients is always a crowd pleaser.
2 ounces pureed peaches or peach juice
3 ounces of Prosecco sparkling wine
serve in a champagne flute
Being that family and friends have always been our primary focus, Italians tend to linger at the table after a meal. Traditionally sugary sweets like homemade Italian cakes are served with a dessert wine or liqueur and it is only after dessert that an espresso or coffee drink is served. Grappa is typically a clear and fragrant spirit made from the leftover pressings of grapes from winemaking. If you encounter a Grappa that is Amber in color, it is indicative of having been aged in barrels. Served in small tulip shaped glasses, Grappa is often paired with chocolate for an extraordinary experience of flavors.
Once the dessert dishes have been cleared, a round of coffee drinks or liqueurs are poured. A classic martini aptly known as the Godfather and almost as infamous as the movie, is a simple but classic cocktail served after dessert. A Marlon Brando favorite!
THE GODFATHER COCKTAIL
1/3 ounce Amaretto di Saronna
3/4 ounces Scotch Whiskey
When the need to follow tradition exists, do as my father ‘Rocco’ would do and have a simmering cup of expresso splashed with a shot of Grappa to “wash” out the sugar left in the bottom of the cup ~ Salute!