Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The Italian Job

It seems that Cara and I just can’t stay away from Italy. We’ve done Rome, we’ve done Milan and Lake Como, but now it was time for us to visit the city of Venice. It was also Cara’s parents first visit to Italy, so they were just as excited as us to explore the canals and tiny alley ways of Venice.

Venice is a place famous for it’s beautiful scenery, It’s architecture and It’s artworks. The city is seemingly one island, but it is in fact made up of 118 small islands all linked together with hundreds of footbridges. It’s history dates back to the ancient roman times. The roman soldiers built and used Venice to flee mainland attacks. No one is sure when the romans first lived in venice, but the city was first officially founded on the 25th March, 421 AD, with the opening of the first church, the San Giacomo di Rialto. Since this day, a further 148 churches have been built and Venice has expanded to now have a population of around 270,000 people living on the islands. Known as the “Floating City”, it’s visited by approximately 20 million tourists a year.

One of the fun things about Venice is exploring the canals and It’s alley ways. It’s easy to get lost as the streets get narrow and wind through around the waterways. Whilst we explored, we walked past several little shops offering Italian souvenirs, I noticed that little bottles of limoncello were a popular item. Limoncello is huge in Italy. It’s common to finish off a meal with a small nip of this sweet digestive.  The Italians have been producing limoncello since the early 1900’s. It was homemade, by simply soaking lemon peals and zest with grain alcohol until all the oils are released, then mixed with sugar syrup and chilled and served ice cold. In 1988, Italian business-man, Massimo Canale became the first person to trademark the name “limoncello” and began mass production and selling of the product. The bottles of Massimo Canale’s limoncello were instantly popular in the local shops and markets throughout Italy and it was soon being exported to other countries. Limoncello is now an Italian icon, hence it’s popularity in the souvenir shops throughout Venice.

After a busy day, Cara and I decided to spend a night out at a local jazz bar, tucked away in a little lane-way just off the Grand Canal.  I couldn’t resist ordering one of the house specialities, a “Miles Davis”. A cocktail which had many similarities to a Long Island Iced Tea. It consisted of gin, vodka, rum, blue curacao (orange flavoured liqueur), grenadine, a dash of lemon juice and topped up with lemonade, all built in a tall glass over ice. Not the most original drink, and I couldn’t help but wonder what the correlation this cocktail had to the man Miles Davis himself.  What ever the reason, it didn’t matter. We were in Venice sipping cocktails and listening to jazz, both reflecting on how lucky we are to be doing what we are doing.

“Miles Davis”
Built in a Tall Glass over Ice
15ml Gin
15ml Vodka
15ml Rum
15ml Blue Curacao
15ml Grenadine
A Dash of Lemon Juice
Top up with Lemonade

1 comment:

  1. I guess its called a 'Miles Davis' because it's blue. Inspired by the greatest jazz album of all time 'Kind of Blue'...Miles davis 1959
    If the cocktail is as good as the album it must be brilliant!