“Ah, Venice.” The words have been pleasantly sighed by throngs of tourists seduced by the romantic Venetian canals. But Italians outside of Veneto could soon be shouting it in cries of anger.
The Venetian Nationalist party, Liga Veneta, was formed in late 1979 to and remains popular today with residents of the Northern Italian region fed up with the corruption and ineffectiveness of the national government in Rome. A poll organized this past March reportedly resulted in 89% of the region’s inhabitants supporting an independent Venetian state.
Along with Murano glass and carnevale masks, Italy would lose claim to a couple of the world’s most recognized drinks based on Prosecco which is also primarily produced in Veneto. Although the sparkling wine’s name hails from a village near Trieste whose region, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, continues to produce Prosecco, Veneto is alsod a DOC (Controlled Destination of Origin) for the dry wine.
Prosecco has recently been making a comeback as an everyday drink that’s a substitute for the significantly more expensive Champagne, especially in the UK where Britons particularly enjoy Prosecco’s on the sweet end.
Italians have always enjoyed Prosecco as an everyday drink, as well as wine from Veneto’s extensive vineyards. But their enjoyment of the Prosseco-based Bellini and Spritz cocktails may change if Venetians decide their through with Rome.
The Bellini screams Venice as it was founded at the city’s famous Harry’s Bar frequented by cultural icons from Ernest Hemingway to Woody Allen. The recipe requires Prosecco and puréed white peaches in a 2 : 1 respective ratio.
If you’re in Venice, be sure to have one of the driest martinis you can find on the continent at Harry’s which serves 10 parts gin to 1 part vermouth. Accompany your Bellini with some carpaccio, the thinly-sliced raw meat dish also invented at Harry’s.
This internationally-recognized cocktail dates back to the 1800s when soldiers of the Hapsburg Empire, which controlled Veneto at the time, asked to mildly dilute the Venetian wines, which are stronger than they were used to, with water. It wasn’t until the early 1900s as carbonated water (Seltz from the German town of Selters) became more widespread that the Spritz began to evolve into its modern form. Today, you will find it made differently around the world but it is most commonly made by mixing Prosecco, a bitter liqueur such as the Italian aperitifs Aperol or Campari, and sparkling water in a 4:3:1 ratio. Throw in a slice of orange and get into your gondola!