Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cipriani (pronounced "sip-ree-AHN-ee")

My dad and Mike are both awesome bartenders. One of my favorite times of the week involves Mike going to our bar and pulling out a book I gave him for our first aniversary. We're slowly working our way though it. Dad once made this drink for us, and we THINK it was called a Cipriani, but after I had a couple, I honestly couldn't remember if it was a Cipriani, caipirinha, coolata, or yo' momma.

It's probably not a caipirinha - that's the national cocktail of Brazil, and it includes superfine sugar (pronounced "supafine") instead of bitters.

Anyway, we love this drink. And after several attempts to find out the exact name of it despite my rum-induced muddle, I found Harry's Bar in Venice, one of the spots we hope to visit in September. Harry's Bar is the birthplace of the belini, a joyous little cocktail named after Giovanni Bellini, a fifteenth century Venetian painter, and made of Prosecco and white peach puree, one part peach to three parts Prosecco.

Harry's Bar was founded by Giuseppi CIPRIANI. Coincidence? I think not. Unless I am corrected, the definitive drink name had been found. At any rate, they're very rare, and if you order one from Mike, he'll know what to fix you.

1/2 lime, quartered
Ice cubes
1-2 ounces black strap rum
Dash Angostura bitters
Tonic water

  • Muddle lime in the bottom of a highball glass.
  • Fill glass with ice cubes.
  • Add rum and bitters.
  • Top off with tonic water.
  • Gently rattle or stir.

....Old age has finally come and I go for breakfast every day at Harry's Bar ... I still have one more dream: a tavern - spacious, dignified, festive, and eloquent, where "ombre" fly across the counter like the whiskies and beers in a Western saloon....Sometimes it's good to dream. Now I can take the liberty of raising a toast to myself, to you, to us, as I think of this gift of drink as a perpetual well-spring of joy and good humor.

Cheers to the world!

- Giuseppe Cipriani
Photos, historical information, and quote courtesy of Signore Cipriani and Harry's Bar.



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