As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force our societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. This muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.
Amber in colour, evidence of spritz and a slice of orange I half wonder if it some kind of white port cocktail, however, after a pleasing sip, I realised that it was no such thing. Savouring the bittersweet flavour, my mind wandered back over a decade or so to January in 2006 in Verona.
It was a blisteringly cold clear blue sky day in January. We walked about the city, in and out of the walls, paying our homage at the tomb of Juliette and admiring the splinters of light that shot through the buildings around the Piazza della Erbe, illuminating small clusters of ladies huddling pack-like beneath many kilograms of animal furs.
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The Martini Rosso cocktail on the Piazza Brá tasted apt, delicious and timeless. The funny daylight, bright and yet bled out of the colosseum before us as if we were before a worn-out giant postcard from the 1970’s.
Trattoria Giovanni Rana
It was tempting have another cocktail but we refrained and instead popped next door to the Trattoria di Giovanni Rana. What a fabulous lunch! It is documented here.
Back to the present. Oh how times of changed… I am enjoying this drink I know nothing about as the wind howls around the building. natalia informs me it is the non-alcoholic Everleaf Bittersweet Aperitif that has been in the fridge for months. I have been navigating my way around it diligently and now that I have discovered it and had a pleasing experience, I am full of admiration. Who knows, I think there may be time for second round.
Retails for ~£18 from Sainsbury's and other retailers.