Category: What to Drink

Shopping for a Moka Coffee Pot

Shopping for a Moka Coffee Pot

I usually drink tea first thing in the morning, but since we got a coffee grinder, I’ve been making coffee. I LOVE hearing that metallic whirrrrrr pulverizing the beans first thing in the morning. It gets me excited to start the day.

We have two coffee pots at home, a 1-cup and a 6 cup. Both the classic Bialetti, otherwise known as the Moka ExpressMoka is the word for stovetop coffee pots that makes coffee by pressurizing boiling water through ground coffee filters. Bialetti made the first moka in 1933, the classic that is in millions of Italian households. For years, mimicking American coffee my mom made coffee for herself with a 4-cup moka and drank it out of a mug until the doctor told her to cut it out.

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I’m looking for a 3-cup one now that I’m drinking coffee, too, in the morning. There are so many designs out there! I’m taking my time shopping for a new one and I’ve put together a little list for you all that may be looking for one, too. Even if you have one, you can always use another one if you have guests.

I’m leaning towards the Bialetti Venus (No. 2) Which ones do you like?


Moka Coffee Pots

1. Bialetti Classico   2. Bialetti Venus   3. Lagostina   4. Vintage Guzzini   5. Tescoma  6. Alessi Conica  7. Alessi Moka designed by Richard Sapper

The Spritz – A Classic Venetian Drink

The Spritz – A Classic Venetian Drink

“Dood, dood. We got a situation,” Davide said to me, meaning only one thing.

I had just felt the first rumble of my stomach and was so excited he was hungry, too. I sunk to one knee and did a fist pump.


It was a hot afternoon in the Veneto and we were at his parents. They were taking a nap and it was the perfect moment to sneak out of the house and hit the bacaro for a spritz.

This amazing concoction is something I had never tried until I met Davide. Growing up, all the Neapolitan doods that I knew like my dad and uncles made their wine at home and while we all ate and drank like pigs at mealtimes, there was no concept of the aperitivo that came from Northern Italy.

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You could sort of think of the apertivo as a cocktail hour, that starts around five, but when you start thinking about the spritz, which is so much more than a cocktail, and the snacks go along with it, then you’re hitting upon what makes Venice what it is.


The Spritz

Three main factors are needed for a soul blasting spritz:

1. Prosecco

2. Soda water

3. Aperol, Campari, or Select (any of these dry alcoholic aperitifs will do)

Percentage parts of these three vary from town to town or bartender to bartender or day to day.

A good spritz that I find ben caricato (fully charged) has two parts prosecco, 1 aperol, just a splash of water and shitload of olives in it. I like it not too sweet so I can eat tons of savoury goodies, known as Venetian cicchetti. Things like fried fish, salted cod puree, zucchini flowers stuffed with anchovies, fried mozzarella, and crostini slathered with gorgonzola and radicchio. (God, I’m so hungry while typing this, I want to eat my hand.)

The drink has become popular over the world, but it is quintisentially a Venetians drink. You walk around Venice and anywhere in the Veneto and all places, even a little hole in the wall bar will make you a spritz. The spritz came about in the early part of the 19th century when Venice was under the Austrian Hapsburg rule. The Austrians weren’t used to the strong prosecco so they’d ask to splash (spritzen) some water into it.  The drink has evolved over the centuries and once carbonated soda came about and the aromatic apertifs like Campari, Aperol and Select it became the perfect Venetian drink.


Oddly, the best spritz I’ve ever had was not in Venice, but in New York City, made by my friend Giovanni Bartocci at the Roman-Italian restaurant Via della Pace in the East Village.






There’s always time for a nice limonata

Now that it’s April, the memories of summers in Italy come pouring in and unless I do something about it, I’m going to sit here on the sofa for the rest of the afternoon in an Italian reverie ignoring the grey clouds of London outside.

It’s time for a mint limonata.

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What you need:

A litre of water

A big lemon (or two small ones)

A sprig of mint (I used two)

2-3 tablespoons of sugar

1. Put a pot of cold water on the stove with the mint and bring to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, peel the lemon. Just before the water is almost to a boil, drop in the lemon peel. Remove the pot from the fire as it starts to boil.

2. Leave the lemon peel and mint to steep for about 10 minutes. Remove the mint and lemon and stir in the sugar. Allow to cool.

3. Once the tea has cooled, squeeze the peeled lemon. Serve and enjoy!

Forget the grey clouds, I can feel the summer on its way!