All posts filed under: Aperitivi

Varnelli and Cocktail Culture

So, the proper way to enjoy Varnelli is after the meal (LINK ), what about as an aperitif? For this I have the pleasure of experiencing an aperitif tasting conducted by Anna Tosoni, owner of Gossip Wine & Drink in Civitanova Marche and a director of Italy’s bartenders association. Serving as Treasurer, she is the first woman director in its 70 year history. Today she is displaying her talents as she prepares cocktails featuring Varnelli’s Amaro Sibilli and Anice Secco. One of the reasons Varnelli Amaro Sibilla is  popular in mixology culture is that mixologists like to have control over the flavor of their drinks and it is easier to adjust the sweetness in a cocktail that uses this somewhat bitter liquor. Anise isn’t central to Amaro Sibilla, so I won’t write much about it, but I do notice that it has tremendous “legs’ and clings to the side of the bottle after being poured. I am also surprised that gentian flowers and bark are part of the decoction. Orietta tells me that gentian has …

Anisette, Salatini and Aperitivi

When I first read about ouzeries I was gobsmacked. In Greece ouzeries are small eateries that specialize in mezes (appetizers) meant to accompany ouzo. Are there, I wonder, similar establishments in France, Italy, Spain and beyond? In Italy, the answer is something of a yes. Aperitifs  (aperitivi in Italian) are drinks  – often with alcohol content – that are meant to get the digestive juices flowing – to, literally, open the appetite. Anisette is such an aperitivo that is often served with salatini – the small nibbles that can include potato chips (what??!), nuts, olives and such. Many establishments will serve salatini with your anisette. Happily, in some places there are actual establishments that are more like ouzeries. One such, on my list of places to visit, is Renzetti Aperitivo&Bar in Civitanova Marche where I’m staying at the lovely B&B Casa tra gli Ulivi  (in an olive grove). I found it through (which has a woman CEO, Gillian Tans!) where you’ll find me sipping and savoring along the Adriatic.