Italian spirits are in the air for Valentine’s Day and Italian mixologists are creating aperitivi and cocktails that are sure to lead you to an evening of enchantment and romance. Here are a few of our favorites including the Red Passion of Campari, an Italian bitter flavored with a secret mixture of 68 aromatic herbs, spices and wood bark blended with spirits in alchemic proportions. It is Italy’s most well-know aperitivo.
Classic Mixes– The Negroni made with gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth and all its various permutations including the Americano, which lacks the gin but adds club soda and the Sbagliato where gin is replaced with sparkling wine or prosecco. And then there’s the Venetian Spritz “sprettz“. Favored in Venice but equally as popular in many Italian towns especially in the north. A light cocktail (7 or 8 percent alcohol by volume) often made with Aperol like this version.
Fill a highball glass with 3- 4 Ice Cubes
Pour in 2 to 3 ounces Prosecco or any sparkling wine
Add 1 1/2 ounces Aperol
Then a splash of soda water, sparkling water, mineral water, or Club Soda
Garnish with a wheel of lime or a wedge of orange. Makes 1 serving.
New and Innovative Combinations – The Cherry Americano from New York mixologist Albert Trummer of Apothéke. The Truffle Honey Cocktail, luscious and decadent made with i Peccati di Ciacco Black Summer Truffle honey perfect with Italian Black Summer Truffle Honey Pizza.
The Italian language is the most romantic language in the world. The high percentage of Italian words that end in vowels give the language a musicality with sounds overflowing into unrestricted puffs of air flowing over lips, teeth, tongue and throat. Italian is a phonetic language, which means that it is spoken the way it is written. Every vowel is pronounced no matter how many of them are in a row. Such as the word aiutare where each syllable is pronounced rapidly but distinctly (AH-EE-OO-TAH-RAY). Separately yet flowing into one another without any pause. A pretty romantic description of a language.
Today is St. Valentine’s Day, a day when love is in our hearts, minds and lips. Here are a few “love” phrases in Italian that you can use to create an Italian inspired Valentine’s Day.
Ti amo = I love you (To be used with your significant other)
Ti voglio bene = I love you/I like you very much (To be used with family and friends)
Mi piaci = I like you
Mi piaci tanto = I really like you
Ti adoro = I adore you
Tu sei il mio bello/la mia bella = You are my handsome/beautiful one
Sei l’amore della mia vita = You are the love of my life
Think pink as in wine selections for Valentine’s Day. Our Italian inspired choices all have one thing in common, the color pink. Four wines, four different expressions of the Italian Rosé chosen for their excellent enogastronomical versatility meaning they are a perfect food pairing whenever a white wine is “too little” and a red wine is “too much”
Here are our picks to introduce you to world of Italian Rosé Wine.
Selection 1. Ferrari Classic Method Sparkling Rosé – crisp and sharp from the foothills of the Alps not far from Lago di Garda in the Trentino region. The pale red rose colors in the glass have a bouquet of blossoming flowers, red berries and wild strawberries.
Selection 2. Banfi Rosa Regali Brachetto d’Acqui from Piedmonte- I have written about this wine on more than one occasion because I have sweet memories of drinking it. A “delicious bottle of silky rose colored bubbles”. The food wine pairings go from the sublime to the simple including this breakfast casserole that would be the perfect pairing for a Valentine’s Day breakfast.
Selection 3. A Tuscan Rosatello from Ruffino – with notes of raspberries and strawberries, the bottle label is a romantic splash of pink.
Selection 4. Serra Lori Isola dei Nuraghi from Sardinia – described as being reminiscent of unsugared strawberries and cream. This wine with notes of mint, pomegranate and licorice has many nuances.
How do latte lovers celebrate Valentine’s Day? Romantic baristas know that a microfoam heart is the best way to begin Valentine’s Day but why stop there. Here are 5 more Italian inspired ways to espress yourself on February 14th that are sure to win your Valentine’s heart.
Make a simply irresistible Cappuccino Souffle.
Add a Trollbead Sterling Silver Mocha Coffee Bean Bead to her bracelet to remind her to always start the day with you.
Bake a special occasion cake that pushes all the right buttons like Coffee Chocolate Layer Cake with Mocha Mascarpone Frosting.
Send a bouquet of Coffee Break Roses, a striking burnt terra-cotta rose with a tip of crema. It is commercially available in limited quantities.
Looking for a Coffee-Cocktail to espress your feelings. Here are two espresso-based cocktails courtesy of Illy USA. Amore is served hot with Amaretto di Saronno®, Beatrice on ice with vodka and Grand Marnier®.
A desirable collection of food, wine, art and design that shares the color Red and the Romance of Italy from a lipstick red espresso machine to an Italian red sauce make with tomatoes botanically related to the mandrake, or “love plant”, the tomato was once believed to be a powerful aphrodisiac, said to be able to “lead a man like a dog .
. . . (click) the Red Passion Collection.
Red coffee machines are one of the most popular and top selling home appliances bought on-line. The color red seems to make a fashion statement whether modern or retro. Like the red-painted cam covers on the Ferrari Testarossa , the color seems to represent a powerful piece of engineering. La Pavoni, one of Italy’s oldest espresso machine manufactures, makes the Cellini Push Switch Red Maranello that looks like it could easily go from 0-60 in about 5 seconds.
The prominent dial and cone-shaped appearance of the Bugatti Diva Red Coffee Espresso Machine could easily start your engine every morning.
The Gaggia Colour Red (see gallery below) with the Pannarello turbo frothing attachment is advertised to “make a statement no matter where it’s located”.
So appealing is Illy’s iconic Francis Francis Red iper Espresso that it has been raised to luxury status by none other than Forbes magazine.
Any just might make the perfect present for your espresso loving Valentine.