Taste of Milan: Puglia Memories at the Park Hyatt

This is what happens when a barman from Lecce goes travelling… Giacomo Maroccia who used to work for our friend Davide de Matteis at 300 Mila, Lecce, left his home town quite a while ago to see the world and make new experiences. He travelled the US at first, remained in Texas for a while, then came back to Italy to go studying. We popped into him working part time at the Park Hyatt (Via Tommaso Grossi 1, Milan, Tel: +39 02 8821 1234), Milan, the other day, where he prepared us a couple of Spicy Spritzs, his own variation of the classic, as a welcome drink. Since it’s the perfect thing to have on hot summer days like these (and since he used to be one of our favorite barmen in the area and we’re missing him a lot), we want to share the recipe with you. Here we go: ENJOY!!

Spicy Spritz

4 cl Tequila Blanco
5-6 Leaves of Mint
1 Fresh squeezed Lime
1 Teaspoon brown sugar
Ginger root
Red currant
Soda water
Ginger ale

Place mint leaves, ginger and red currant into a large red wine
glass. Squeeze the juice from a cut lime over it. Add the brown sugar, a splash of club soda and gently smash the the ingredients with a muddler. Add ice (preferably cubes),then Tequila and top-up with ginger ale. Stir gently and garnish with a mint sprig.

Cocktail Course: Getting the kicks at Coccaro Beach Bar: Rilee’s Fruitpunch

The best place to have a nice and relaxing Aperitivo after a long day at the beach is the Pool Bar at Masseria Torre Coccaro. There’s Giavanna, Teresa and Aldo looking after you, from breakfast hours on, by the way, serving tasty lunches or cool drinks in the shade of the bamboo umbrellas. But when the sun vanishes slowly in midst the olive fields surrounding the estate, the pool bar area becomes some sort of sunset paradise – drop by and find out…

Today Aldo Vinci, our youngest (19) but no less talented barman prepared something new and refreshing for us, just to give you an idea of what the Pool Bar is all about: Rilee’s, a fruitpunch out of cranberry, papaya, strawberry and peach, with a dash of vodka to excite your tongue and make you feel you’re definitely on holiday.

Aldo has done his homework: Apart from attending bartender classes with Campari in Milan and Rome he could easily speak (and shake!) along with the far more famous Tom Cruise in “Cocktail”. Watch him preparing the Rilee’s and you’ll get the idea… He’s about to become an artist on the mixing gear – we’re pround to have him and are looking forward to following another one of his (“only just made up…”) recipes.

Here’s what it takes:

1/2 oz Apricot Brandy
1 oz Vodka Peach
1/4 oz Strawberry syrup
1/4 oz Papaya syrup
1/4 oz freshly squeezed lime juice with a twist of fresh ginger
1/2 oz Cranberry juice
2 pureed peaches

Mix all the ingredients as shown in the films. The perfect drink to learn what Puglia summers are about!

Beachhopping: Quarto di Monte, Monticelli – absolutely fabulous!

To find Quarto di Monte You really have to know where to go! But once you’re there you won’t want to leave any more… This is what happened to Tina and Alfonso, the owner couple, who found out about the fabulous beachview place years ago and installed their caravan right next to the spot that was supposed to become one of the trendiest beachclubs in Puglia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They have travelled the world in search of inspiration (and keep on travelling: when their season is finished they call their dogs and hop on their rolling home): Mexico, Brasil, Costa Rica. Once their “baby” was born, they started working on it, literally “living” it: Maroccan tents, Balinese sofas, Thai seats, you name it, to not get bored to easily: You never know what to expect when they’re reopening for the new season!

 

 

 

 

 

This year they came up with some crispy and fresh blue sofas where to stretch out while listening to the live concerts on sunday night. As every year, Tina would be the cashier – and head of the bar, whereas Alfonso manages the live music gigs, mostly musicians from Puglia who know how to entertain in hot Puglia summer nights! Check out the place for a light lunch, try the fresh fish as well as the salads and don’t forget to order a “macedonia” as a dessert: You’ll be amazed what a simple fruit salad can look and taste like!

We asked Tina, who’s an expert on frozens of any kind, for her summer 2012 suggestion. Here’s what she proposes: All it takes is half a pineapple, an apple, fresh lime juice and mint leaves. Mix all the ingredients in a blender and taste the creamy thing through a straw: Absolutely Fabulous, isn’t it?