It’s been a delicious month at SOHO as we’ve focused on the flavors of Italy. With that inspiration, I thought I’d highlight a few of the Italian digestivos featured on SOHO’s dessert menu.
First, we offer two of Italy’s more unusual drinks – Fernet Branca and Fernet Branca Menta (mint flavored), both favorites of SOHO owner Susan Smith. The original recipe for Fernet Branca was developed in Italy in 1845, and for decades the liqueur was marketed as a cure for many ailments. Even today, many fans of Fernet Branca claim it is the ideal drink after an overly generous dinner and is a perfect hangover cure. Whatever your reason for ordering a glass, the unique taste of the liqueur is worth a try. Franet Branca is bitter, but layered with flavors. While the exact recipe is a secret (the producers, Fratelli Branca Distillerie, have taken a cue from the folks at Coke), it contains 27 herbs and spices from four continents, including myrrh and saffron. It’s the perfect after-dinner drink for the adventurous spirit.
Next, we offer Caravella Limoncello, a completely different after-dinner experience than the Fernet Branca. Originating on the Island of Capri in the late nineteenth century, limoncello has become a popular Italian drink (reportedly it makes up 35% of the total liqueur consumption in Italy). Sweet and lemony, it is best enjoyed ice-cold. One reason for limoncello’s popularity is its simplicity – it is made with three basic ingredients, lemon, sugar and pure alcohol. It can even be made at home – here’s a recipe from the Food Network. If you are in the mood for a taste of sugar after your meal, this might be the digestivo to try.
Hopefully, you'll join us soon for dinner – and, afterwords, a little taste of Italy.