March 25: Venice

VeniceAccording to legend, the city of Venice was founded on this day in 421.

Now, I say “according to legend” because there are no historical records that detail the founding of Venice. So, why do we say that Venice was founded on March 25, 421? Well, the first settlers of Venice were refugees from Italian cities that had been invaded by Germans and Huns. The lagoons of Venice provided the city with a natural defense, which allowed the city to grow trouble free. Of course, a 5th century Italian city with a growing population requires a church and on March 25, 421 the Church of San Giacomo di Rialto was officially consecrated, officially making Venice a city.

Venice has contributed a lot to cocktail history, most notably the Bellini. The Bellini is a charming mix of Prosecco and peach purée. It was invented in the 1930s or 1940s by Giuseppe Cipriani, owner and head barman at Harry’s Bar in Venice. The name Bellini actually comes from 15th-century Venetian artist Giovanni Bellini. When Cipriani first mixed the drink, the pink color reminded him of a pink toga worn in a painting by Bellini.

Bellini

  • 3 1/2 ounces Prosecco
  • 1 3/4 ounces peach purée

Pour the purée into a chilled flute and gently add the Prosecco. Stir gently.

Tomorrow: Things get Frost-y.

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