Here I go!

I've been told many times over the years that I should write travel guide books, but this is as close as I plan to come to that!

Since getting my first passport at age 43, I have gotten to go places in this world that I never dreamed of seeing, and I'm an inveterate note taker. My travels since 1986 have been as a professional travel agent...which only increased that note taking. I hope to share some of the things I've found interesting for one reason or another -- maybe for cultural or historic reasons, maybe just beautiful, maybe ultra good, maybe just hilarious. And sometimes just because I liked it, related to travel or not.

My speciality in the travel business is Italy, though I handle travel pretty much worldwide..and if I don't keep up with a particular area, one of the great agents in my office does. See www.sallywatkins.com for more about the professional side of my life.

Your comments and shared tips are very welcome! I truly believe "we get by with a little help from our friends."

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Very Typical Venetian Drink: The Spritz

I'm borrowing today from Jaunted.com, one of my favorite websites. Learn about one of the most Venetian of drinks...how to pronounce it, how to order it, what's in it, and a good place to get it!

Where To Drink Jaunted's Favorite Spritz Cocktail In Venice
Where: San Polo 2807, Campiello San Tomà , Venice, Italy
by JetSetCD on July 17, 2009 at 3:29 PM

While the summer is at its peak and you're no doubt tired of chugging bottled water under the sun at tourist sites, we're going to hit some of the world's best watering holes and down their famous summer cocktails. Bottoms up!

As dusk hits the lagoon of La Serenissima, tourists retire to their hotels for naps or plain cooling down from hot days under the Adriatic sun, spent museum-hopping and souvenir shopping. This is the cocktail hour in Venice, when it feels as though the locals emerge after lying in wait for the tourists to tire. To celebrate the beginning of another evening of socializing and good food, the cocktail hour usually focuses around Venice's signature local drink: the Spritz.

Based on either Campari or Aperol—with Campari the typically male version and Aperol (order "Spritz al Aperol") for women—a Spritz is a happy little red-ochre potion which can be found year-round in Venetian bars. Nonetheless, summer turns us away from our usual Prosecco and towards the fresher comforts of a Spritz at the Ciak 1 bar in the San Polo district.

Ciak 1, left out of most guidebooks and online bar listings, is a spot we've discovered after much Venice trial-and-error in terms of finding a great atmosphere, great drinks, and a place which also sells the Frittelle specialities of the February Carnevale. Nestled in the Campiello San Tomà, a small square which seems to magically appear when you're on the verge of becoming very frustrated with attempting to navigate Venice, Ciak 1 is our highest recommendation for sitting with a friend and savoring a simple Spritz.

Here's how to mix your own at home:

· Dump some ice into a lowball glass
· Pour 2oz of Prosecco from Treviso (ok, or any sparkling white wine)
· Add a touch of sparkling water
· Finish with 1.5oz of either Campari or Aperol
· Garnish with an orange peel and serve

Or, go truly summer cocktail with a little alternative we've come up with ourselves, even though we won't pretend to be the first the mix the ingredients. It's a result of much time spent in hot Italian weather. Enjoy it the Jaunted way:

· Dump a fistful of ice into a highball glass or larger
· Pour in the contents of one of those cute Campari Soda bottles
· Empty a can of Lemon Soda in there as well
· Mix and serve; it's like a fizzy grapefruit-ish cocktail!

2 comments:

Megan in Liguria said...

I'm an aperol spritz girl myself! Next time you are here, I'll make you one! :)

Nan, LivingVenice, Italy: Instructions for Use said...

I drink my Prosecco in purezza, and my Spritz's sparingly (they go straight to the hip, for some reason...), but even then I'll hold out for white wine, seltzer, and Select...red!