My older sister has entire kingdoms inside of her, and some of them are only accessible during certain seasons, in certain kinds of weather. One such melting occurs in summer rain, at midnight, during the vine-green breathing time right before sleep. You have to ask the right question, throw the right rope bridge, to get there–and then bolt across the chasm between you, right before your bridge collapses.
-Karen Russell (“Ava Wrestles the Alligator”)

This past weekend was simply balmy, warm and even humid. In other words, it was the antithesis of what we Northern Californians have come to expect…which is exactly why it was so luscious.

Not that I’m bragging here. Keep in mind that, in the past three weeks, we’ve seen our fair share of wind, rain and even hail. The sunshine had been long overdue. We at least had to be reminded what it looked like before it again disappeared. Without this brief glimpse of happiness and spring, we wouldn’t even have realized what we’d been missing.

And I can proudly say that I took advantage of this weather: I went for walks, I opened my windows, I wore dresses and skirts and I made a cocktail. Not just any cocktail either: it was a yummy concoction, minty (which I like only when muddled in cocktails) and tangy, full of the lemony zing of Limoncello and the slightly sweet citrus flavor of kumquats. What else can one expect from a cocktail called the Capri?

If you’ve ever been to that lovely little island (I have, but long, long ago), this drink will most likely bring the island’s beauty, sparkling water and sunshine to mind. Which, frankly, is just as it should be.

Yields 1 cocktail

Adapted from “The Nibble

1 ounce gin
1/2 ounce limoncello
3 kumquats
3 fresh mint leaves
3-5 dashes orange bitters
Splash of soda

-Muddle 2 kumquats, 3 mint leaves, limoncello and bitters in the bottom of a martini shaker.
-Next, fill shaker with ice and add gin.
– Shake vigorously.
-Fill a glass one third of the way with fresh ice, drop in a kumquat, add more ice.
-Strain the cocktail into a glass and finish with a splash of soda.

3 thoughts on “I Dream of Italy

  1. Your drink looks lovely!! I've never had a kumquat before but I'd love to try one! I'll see if I can find some at the grocery store tomorrow because I'd love to try this drink! 🙂

    I've never been to Capri or anywhere else in Italy (or anywhere outside the U.S. for that matter) but I've been dreamin' of Italy too. *sigh* I sure would love to go. Maybe one day! 🙂

  2. @ Sheila: Thank you! I hope you managed to find kumquats and were able to try the drink. And I'm sure you'll make it to Italy one day! 🙂 But until then, this drink is a good substitute!
    @ Kana, it's the kind of thing you could drink on your urban beach, with a good book and Suki at your feet. 🙂 Glad to see the sun's shining where you are. xx

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