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Discover Italy by Enjoying Its Drinks
Italy is not only famous for its historic monuments, its cities full of beautiful art and architecture and its long history, but also for its excellent wines and other drinks famous worldwide. Take a trip with us down through this country to discover the “spirit” of each town.
Vermouth is the typical aromatic wine from Turin. It was invented around 1700. The main ingredients are Muscat wines, to which are added alcohol, cane sugar and extract of crushed herbs, among them absinthe. In fact, “vermut” means “absinthe” in German. There are different types of vermouth: white, red and dry. They are often used in making cocktails.
Milano is the home of Campari, Amaro Ramazzotti and Branca drinks. Fernet Branca is a digestive liqueur unique in the world. It is made from herbs gathered in four continents and matured in oak barrels, and Brancamenta, a refreshing and thirst quenching mint flavoured drink, ideal on hot summer days!”. Campari is an alcoholic aperitif, made from an infusion of sixty ingredients, steeped in alcohol, but the recipe itself remains a secret. In recent years several versions have been produced, ready mixed with vodka and very popular with young people (Campari Soda, Campari MIXX). Ramazzotti, on the other hand, is a good digestive liqueur and can be drunk neat or with ice. The trendiest place to enjoy your aperitifs? The Happy Hour at <A HREF="http://www.unahotels.it/en/una_hotel_tocq/restaurant_cafe.htm">UNA Hotel Tocq</A> in corso Como from 18.00 to 21.00.
Bellini and Spritz come from the romantic city of Venice. <A HREF="http://www.unahotels.it/en/una_hotel_venezia/venezia_hotels.htm"> UNA Café </A>, suggests a time-honoured long drink cocktail made with sparkling white wine (Prosecco or Champagne) and the juice of white peaches. Bellini is one of the best known Italian cocktails all over the world. Its counterpart is Spritz, a red cocktail made with dry white wine, sparkling mineral water or tonic water and a variety of alcoholic drinks.
In Bologna it is wine that has pride of place. The most famous being Sangiovese, whose name means “Jupiter’s blood”, and Lambrusco a sparkling red wine which is a the ideal companion for the typical cuisine of the Romagna region. While staying in<A HREF="http://www.unahotels.it/en/una_hotel_bologna/restaurant_cafe.htm"> UNA Hotel Bologna </A>, just opposite the central station, you can enjoy the evening touring the typical inns of the historic city centre, where you can easily find yourself in the company of famous songwriters or other well-known personalities, having their glass of wine.
The Tyrrhenian coast of Tuscany , famous for its fashionable venues and exclusive wine bars, is the perfect place to taste the best of Tuscan wines. Among them Brunello di Montalcino, at the top of the league of Italian wines and a DOCG – Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (Contolled and guaranteed origin). It is hard to imagine anything more romantic than sipping these wines on the terrace of <A HREF="http://www.unahotels.it/en/una_hotel_versilia/RoofGarden.htm">UNA Hotel Versilia </A>looking out to sea at sunset.
The birthplace of Renaissance, Florence, is also the home of Chianti wine, one of the best red Italian wines known and appreciated all over the world. It gets its name from the surrounding hills where it is produced. This wine is associated with the typical raffia covered rounded flask with a narrow neck, invented to protect the precious contents from the light which might alter its quality. It was in Florence that the count Camillo Negroni created the cocktail which bears his name: Negroni, made with gin, red vermouth, bitter Campari and half a slice of orange. After a romantic walk in the historic centre and along the river Arno, the river which crosses this magnificent city, try the contrast of the daring design in the<A HREF="http://www.unahotels.it/en/una_hotel_vittoria/florence_hotel_rooms.htm"> UNA Hotel Vittoria</A> , where doors with reproductions of Renaissance paintings lead into ultramodern rooms lined with mirrors, plate glass and a starlit sky.
Sambuca was born in Civitavecchia, a town near the capital, Rome. This is a sweet liqueur with a strong aniseed flavour and which can be served neat, after coffee or with an ice cube or coffee grain which has to be chewed while drinking this liqueur to enhance its taste.
Another wine worth mentioning is Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a red wine whose grapes come originally from Greece, like the majority of wines made from red grapes in the southern regions. Its excellent basic quality has made it famous abroad too. Enjoy sipping this wine after a long journey, stopping on the A1 motorway at the<A HREF="http://www.unawayhotels.it/en/unaway_montepulciano_est/tuscany_hotel_montepulciano.htm"> UNAWAY Hotel Monepulciano Est</A> for those travelling south or <A HREF="http://www.unawayhotels.it/en/unaway_montepulciano_ovest/montepulciano_tuscany_hotel.htm">UNAWAY Hotel Montepulciano Ovest<A/> for those on their way north.
A little further south we find the area where Limoncello or Limoncino is produced. This is distilled from lemon peel and often home made. It is excellent as a digestive liqueur after typical Neapolitan fish dishes, or as served at the American Bar on the panoramic terrace of <A HREF="http://www.unahotels.it/en/una_hotel_napoli/restaurant_cafe.htm">UNA Hotel Napoli</A>, added to lemon ice cream for a refreshing sherbet. Continuing inland along the motorway, between Naples and Avellino you’ll find the restaurant of <A HREF="http://www.unawayhotels.it/en/unaway_mirabella_sud/restaurant.htm">UNAWAY Mirabella Sud </A>where you can sip the delicate Fiano di Avellino, which goes perfectly with fish starters, fresh cheeses and white meat (it is a good idea to book in advance).
And if all this were not enough, you can make a last stop in Sardinia to taste Cannonau, a red wine which is probably the oldest wine in the Mediterranean, and Mirto, a popular liqueur, often home made from steeping myrtle berries in alcohol.
…..To your health!
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