Below is an excerpt from the July 2015 edition of GINNED! Magazine about the Dà Mhìle Distillery. Every month, Craft Gin Club Members receive a bottle of amazing small-batch gins accompanied by GINNED! Magazine which is full of information about the gin, the distillery and loads of fascinating features.
The mission statement of the Dà Mhìle Farmhouse Distillery is “not to produce mediocrity but only top quality,” a mantra embodied in its unique artisanal spirits and multi-awarded cheeses. Another multi-awarded product whose central theme is the struggle to rise from mediocrity to top quality is the 1984 film, Amadeus, adapted from the Tony award-winning play of the same name.
Set in Vienna in the 1780s-90s, Amadeus tells the fictionalised tale of Italian composer Antonio Salieri and his nefarious plot to destroy his perceived rival and the object of his envy, the endlessly talented and increasingly popular, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Salieri, who had heard many rumours of young Mozart’s compositional capacity before his arrival in Vienna, secretly admires Mozart’s music as “the voice of God” whilst suffering with the realisation that no matter how hard he tried, his own abilities would always play second fiddle to those of Mozart’s, a situation that leads him to label himself “the patron saint of mediocrity.”
In reality, Salieri’s career was anything but mediocre. Rising through the musical ranks from his time as a young child in Italy to his adolescent years playing chamber music for the Habsburg Emperor Joseph II in Vienna and his eventual position as the Empire’s Kappellmeister (the man in charge of music), Salieri had the biggest influence on composers of the Classical period, some of which - including Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Franz Liszt - he taught.
In fact, historically it appears that Mozart considered Salieri more of a rival than vice versa. Several of Mozart’s letters speak of Salieri as “the only one who counts in the Emperor’s eyes” and accusing him of trickery in dealing with the politics of Vienna’s musical courts, trickery which Mozart seems to feel slowed his ascent. At the same time, Salieri showed respect for Mozart’s music by resurrecting one of the Salzburg-born composer’s most famous operas, The Marriage of Figaro, amongst other works.
Perhaps, if the real-life Salieri could be consulted after his death, he would regret his admiration of Mozart’s music. History holds Mozart’s music as some of the greatest ever written and his name remains immediately recognizable in popular culture. Salieri’s name, however, faded quickly as his music virtually disappeared in the mid-19th century only to be born again as a mere mediocrity in the film adaptation of Amadeus.
Fortunately for director Milos Forman, the film was viewed as anything but mediocre, earning itself eight Academy Awards including Best Picture. As for Salieri’s film legacy, the role of the tortured Kappellmeister earned actor F. Murray Abraham the Oscar for Best Actor, a prize symbolizing much more than the mediocrity he portrayed.
Dà Mhìle Dry Martini
- 2 Parts Seaweed Gin
- 3 Parts Dry Vermouth
- Garnish with Rosemary &/or Orange Peel
Method: Combine gin and vermouth in mixer glass on ice. Stir mildly. Strain into Martini glass. Garnish with rosemary and/or orange peel.