Tag Archives: Travel Italy

Celebrate Ferragosto With Refreshing Italian Cocktails

August 15th is Ferragosto and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate this Italian holiday than with some refreshing Italian cocktails.

Ferragosto is a big national celebration that marks the height of the Italian summer, and includes concerts, outdoor festivals and many feasts with friends and family before they head away on vacation. 

These cocktails will make you feel like you have been transported to Italy to partake in the Ferragosto celebrations this year!

Download both the Italian Spirits and the Italian Spirits Recipe Booklets below the cocktail slideshow at bottom of post.

Ferragosto is a public holiday celebrated on 15 August in all of Italy. It originates from Feriae Augusti, the festival of emperor Augustus, who made the 1st of August a day of rest after weeks of hard work on the agricultural sector. 


Strega Daiquiri


  • .5 ounce Liquore Strega 
  • 1.5 ounces white rum
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • ⅔ ounce brown sugar


Shake, strain, pour over ice

Paloma Bianco


  • 1 ounce Tequila Blanco 
  • 2/3 ounce Luxardo Bitter Bianco 
  • 2/3 ounce Fresh pink grapefruit juice 
  • 1/3 ounce Fresh lime juice 
  • ¼ ounce Luxardo Maraschino Originale 


Shake, strain, pour over ice

Nicola Scattola’s Amaro and Stormy


  • 45 ml. Amaro Nardini
  • 100 ml. Ginger beer
  • 15 ml. Lime juice 
  • 1 fresh mint sprig 


Build in a tall tumbler and mix gently. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Amber Martini


  • 2 cl whitehouse bitter wine
  • 4 cl London Dry Gin 


Stir and strain cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon peel 

Content provided by
Italian Trade Agency’s Italian Spirits Promotion Project

Filippo Trapella’s Pollo alla cacciatora

The flavors of Italy vary greatly. Each region places it’s own signature on the cuisine and these differences are influenced by many factors. Location, history, customs of other cultures, weather and of course seasonal foods. I am on a quest to discover Italy.

The dish I have chosen today is Pollo alla cacciatora. A simple, traditional dish with a few nuances in nearly all regions of Italy.

It has an intense tomato and red wine sauce that is flavored with fragrant rosemary and juniper.  ~ Filippo Trapella

To make this sauce “extra” bold, Filippo Trapella suggests braising the meat with red wine.

Pollo alla cacciatora

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

pollo alla cacciatoraIngredients

  • 1 chicken, skin-on, jointed
  • 1 white onion, sliced into thin half-rings
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 500ml of passata, a little over 2 cups
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, triple-concentrated
  • 1 glass of red wine, 270ml,  a little over a cup
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 juniper berries, crushed
  • black pepper
  • salt


  1. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a stainless steel or enamel pan, over medium heat. Pan-fry chicken in batches, browning all over. Set aside and cover.
  2. Pour red wine in pan and deglaze, scraping meat from bottom of pan. Simmer 5 minutes and set reduction aside.
  3. Add remaining oil to hot pan, fry onion, juniper berries and rosemary until onions are translucent.
  4. Add chicken and tomato paste to pan and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.
  5. Increase heat, add red wine reduction, cooking for additional 5 minutes and stir in pasta.
  6. Cover and gently stew  over low heat, 1 hour.
  7. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Serve with a thick crusty bread, white rice or polenta. We are pairing this delicious pasta dish with Tenuta Boncore Negroamaro 2013

Recipe: Great Italian Chefs

My quest to discover Italy goes deeper than just cuisine. I am currently sampling wines from the winegrowing region of Salento and the recipe above is chosen based on Southern Italian foods. Wines from the prevalent local grape Negroamara are characterized by lovely fruity aromas, full body, round tannins and great balance.

I have been inspired to explore regional cuisines of the world by a wine club I have joined, VinoVersal.com I will spend two more weeks exploring Southern Italian foods and  will visit different cities and work with local chefs to create authentic, regional cuisine to nibble on while sampling the wines of Salento, Italy. I would love to have you join me!

As we move deeper in to June we  will embark on a new “journey”and taste wines from a different country. If you would like us to visit your city, please leave your comments below!