From Milan to the Mill

The Spritz Phenomenon

Every spring, Milan becomes the destination for designers from all over the world who descend upon the the city for the Salone del Mobile, to experience what is the latest and greatest in the design industry.

In addition to the show, the whole city celebrates creativity during Design Week, with home furnishing and interior design companies  hosting unique events at their locations.  Pop up installations are everywhere by brands of any industry, with new concepts for Living, and all doors are open with crowds and lines forming. On the surface, Milan can appear somewhat stoic, but below the surface there is a dynamic vibrancy due to the strong blend of culture and commerce. On alternating years, the design show has a focus on lighting, which is inspiring to see with the nearly limitless variations in construction and materials. The use of glass is so pervasive from pendants to chandeliers and lamps. Milan is both an inspiration and affirmation of how important creativity is to business.

After an entire day at the trade show or events around the city, the golden hour sets in when everyone goes out for the Aperitivi, a ritual that starts around 6pm. The classic bitter liqueurs and aromatized wines are served before dinner, and many of the unique combinations of drinks evolved through the midcentury era in Italy. The modern Aperitivi with a spritz of either Procesco or soda water, are more than just drinks, they are meant to inspire, reflect and get the conversations going.

The famed Bar Basso, known for the Negroni Sbagliato, appears to be a traditional establishment  but has a cosmopolitan clientele and this particular campari drink is typically served in a giant hand blown goblet with a large block of ice. From the street you know you are approaching Bar Basso because crowds gather around it.

A previous recipe for a Negroni on this blog can be found here.

During the golden hour, throughout Milan you see many people drinking an orange toned Aperitivi, known as Aperol spritz, which has gained in popularity and finds it’s way here to Vermont and is served at our Mill.

Jarod

 

Jerod our Restaurant and Bar Director says “We are loving the sharp elements that amaro’s are bringing to the table right now. Our guests are looking for lighter cocktails that they can enjoy before their dinners and Aperol brings a refreshing element to these. Paired with Barr Hill Gin, Orange, and a splash of soda is a lovely way to enjoy this ever popular aperitif!”. 

Here is our recipe for “The Bubbly Bee”:

1-1/2 oz Barr Hill Gin

1/8 oz Aperol

1/8 oz St. Elder

1-1/2 oz Prosecco

Small orange slice or twist to garnish

Build in 1/2 ice filled glass, add a splash of soda and garnish.

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I also made up my own Americano, while in the Dolomites:

1-1/2 ounces of Campari

1-1/2 ounces of vermouth

Soda water

Served in our own Apprentice glass.

Cucumber Margarita

 

 

In a shaker filled with ice:
2 ½ oz Cucumber infused Tequila and 2 oz lime simple syrup
Pour into a lightly salted rimmed Bristol Goblet
Garnish with Cucumber slice (cut on sharp diagonal) down side of glass and lime wedge

Cucumber Infused Tequila:
1 ½ English cucumber, 1 bottle of El Charro Silver Tequila
In a Cambro combine thinly sliced cucumber and tequila
Cover, label with date and time.
Leave to infuse at room temperature for 24 hours. (If in a Liquor room, allow 36 hours.)
Keep refrigerated (will last 3 months if kept cold) and discard cucumbers.

Lime Simple Syrup mix:
3 parts Jansal lime juice and 2 parts simple syrup.
Label and date.

Lemon Basil Simple Syrup:
4 cups water, 4 cups sugar
Boil and remove from heat when sugar is dissolved. Add 20 basil leaves.
Let sit 5 – 10 minutes then remove basil.
Cool, cover and refrigerate.
Fill a squeeze bottle half syrup/half lemon juice.