Here’s to Rome

by Danilo Brunetti

Drink to your love for Rome with one of eleven drinks inspired by the monuments and character of this incomparable city. Tiffany Parks presents this thoroughly Roman cocktail list.

Appia Street

Luca di Giorgio, bartender of the Singer Palace Hotel, has concocted a drink that represents the Ancient Appian Way, the so-called queen of roads, connecting Rome to Bari in southern Italy. Made with ingredients that reflect the produce grown around Rome as well as in Bari’s region of Puglia, such as Quaglia bergamot, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, lemon juice, and homemade basil and pink pepper syrup, Appia Street will transport you southward faster than its namesake via. <  Via A. Specchi, 10.

Eternal Mistake

This fruity drink (picture right) is a tribute to the harmonious grandeur of the Acqua Paola Fountain (also known as the Fontanone) of the Gianicolo Hill. Vincenzo Tropea of Ristorante Pierluigi combines VII Hills Italian Dry Gin (named after the legendary seven hills Rome was founded on, and made exclusively with botanicals used in ancient Rome) with Perfidie (a “wicked” liqueur by Theorie with notes of pepper, tomato, ginger, and blood orange) and lime juice, all recalling the flavors of a traditional Roman garden. The drink’s name is a reference to the error in the inscription of the imposing fountain that attributes the building of the aqueduct that feeds it to the wrong emperor (Augustus instead of Trajan). The one anomaly in this recipe is the kiwi shrub syrup, proof that when it comes to art, even a mistake can make you eternal!

< Piazza de’ Ricci, 144.

Formidable Obsession

Barman Giovanni Giuseppe Seddaiu of Rosso drew his inspiration for this drink from Bernini’s dramatic sculpture, The Rape of Persephone. The famous work depicts the moment the young goddess was kidnapped by Pluto and carried off to the Underworld. A dark twist on the classic Martini, this cocktail has a base of VII Hills gin, with ingredients that reflect the brutality of the violent act: Formidabile bitters, red vermouth, liquorice bitters, and hot pepper tincture. It’s garnished with edible flowers, a nod to the blooms Persephone was picking before she was attacked. < Viale Aventino, 32.

Peaty Pity

Alessandro Antonelli, bar manager of the Sky Stars Bar at the A. Roma Lifestyle Hotel, created this drink (picture left) as an homage to Miche- langelo’s incomparable Pietà. The drink has a base of cream, recalling the pure white marble of the work, and is enriched with Lapsang Souchong black tea, nutmeg, and tiny morsels of bitter chocolate. Hine cognac and Giardini d’Amore almond liqueur round out the drink. The name is a play on words, with the word peaty (recalling the smoky avor of the drink’s tea and spice elements) making an almost-rhyme with the English word for pietà. < Via Giorgio Zoega, 59.

Anita

Franco Recarte of NIJI in Trastevere has concocted a drink that honors the equestrian statue of Anita Garibaldi, wife of General Giuseppe Garibaldi, depicted with a rifle in one hand and a baby in the other. Based on the Clover Club, a cocktail long considered only suitable for men but eventually popular with women, this drink celebrates a woman who lived and triumphed in a man’s world. Anita incorporates VII Hills gin, Cocchi Rosa- flavored wine, lime, rhubarb bitters, egg whites, and sugar.

< Via dei Vascellari, 35.

Piazza Vittorio

Manuel Boncompagni of Vittorio Spezie & Cucina whips up a liquid rendition of one of the liveliest and most distinctive corners of the city: Piazza Vittorio, and in particular, its historic market. The ingredients, from Quaglia chinotto liqueur to maraschino cherry liqueur and VII Hills gin with its local botanicals, are a nod to some of the many products on sale in the stalls of the colorful market. Its flavors are all thoroughly Roman, and therefore a homage not just to the market, but to the city itself. < Via Foscolo, 20/22.

Poseidon

This flavorful drink ( right) by Antonio De Meo of Ristorante Liòn is named for the Greek god of the sea but inspired by the monumental Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona, a true marvel of baroque ingenuity. Just as the four rivers in the fountain represent the four continents known in the 17th century, the drink is concocted with ingredients that represent these four diverse “corners” of the world. India is represented by a dash of masala chai, Africa by a few drops of rooibos tea, South America by the banana leaves and dried kiwi in the garnish, and Europe by sprigs of mint and fresh raspberries. VII Hills gin, bitters, and cherry liqueur complete the recipe.< Largo della Sapienza, 1.

Roma Stregata

Giorgio Vicario, barman of Beere & Mangiare, drew inspiration for
his “Rome Bewitched” from the Via Trionfale. The modern street was named for the nearby ancient road by which Roman generals would enter the city in triumph after a military victory. The drink is a metaphor for the triumph of the three young Italian bartenders who invented VII Hills gin, and who have worked tirelessly to bring this unique and thoroughly Italian spirit to bars around the city and around the world. Strega liqueur, with its golden hue reminiscent of Rome’s afternoon glow, homemade tarragon syrup, and freshly squeezed lemon juice finish o the drink. < Via Carlo Passaglia, 1.

Sedia del Diavolo

This ominous-sounding drink comes from the imagination of Andrea Jachetta, barman of Misto – Mixology e Cibarie, and was inspired by an ancient funerary monument in the Trieste neighborhood. The “Devil’s Chair” refers to the tomb of Elio Callistio (a slave freed by Emperor Hadrian), so called for the night fires that once burned inside the ruin, lit by wayfarers and shepherds. The earthy notes of 12-year-old Bowmore whiskey recall the smell of smoke, while the Oscar 697 red vermouth evokes the fire that illuminated the tomb. Select Aperitivo and grapefruit bitters are the drink’s other essential elements. < Via Fezzan, 21.

Sette Collins

This ambitious drink by Ilaria Migliorini of La Zanzara in Prati is dedicated to all seven of Rome’s legendary hills, namely the Aventine, Palatine, Capitoline, Caelian, Esquiline, Quirinal, and Viminal. A play on the Italian for “seven hills” (sette colli), the Sette Collins is based on the classic ’60s drink Tom Collins, but updated for lovers of the Eternal City. With a base of VII Hills gin (of course), the drink includes ingredients inspired by plants that once grew wild on these hills, and that ancient Romans used in their medicines and recipes: chamomile syrup, lemon juice, celery bitters, and cardamom soda.

< Via Crescenzio, 84.

Palazzo Firenze

Gian Paolo Di Pierro (pictured right) is the manager of Club Derrière, one of the city’s original speakeasies, and he invented this cocktail to celebrate the splendid but little-known palace of the same name located just behind the bar. Once the Roman residence of the powerful Medici clan, the historic building is now the seat of the Dante Alighieri Society, and the drink’s ingredients reflect a story from the Divine Comedy. The forbidden passion of Paolo and Francesca, which eventually led to their condemnation to the second circle of hell for the sin of lust, inspired this drink made with Hine cognac, Campari bitters, and Cocchi Storico vermouth. < Vicolo delle Coppelle.