Local but not local.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
There is nothing purely local in the world. Not even spritz, the local drink of watery Venice, a touristy city without virtually any nightlife leaving its endangered locals with no choice but to meet over… well, spritz.
One recent evening The Delhi Walla was served excellent spritz at a palace in Venice by a bartender who is not from Venice–the nimble-footed Laura Marzano lives in the neighboring town of Padua.
The color of sunset, spritz is made of equal portions of Campari or Aperol, sparkling water and a white sparkling wine such as Prosecco. The drink is garnished with an olive and a slice of orange. Ms Marzano, an outsider, produced the cocktail as effortlessly as any Venetian. Making spritz and serving food and drinks in cocktail parties, however, is just one aspect of her life. Ms Marzano is a trained psychologist. Interning as a counselor to cancer patients in a hospital in Padua, she comes to Venice at least once a week to work in cafes and bars.
“Lots of Italian students work in restaurants during the early stages of their career to pad up their income,” says the 30-something Ms Marzano. “So I’m a psychologist everyday from 8 am to 12 noon in the hospital and after that I often turn into a bartender in restaurants.”
Of course, spritz can also be made in Padua, and it shall make you tipsy even if you are having it in Peshawar, Pakistan, but it becomes more than a drink only when you are having it by the canal. That is, the authentic charm of spritz can only be experienced in Venice and especially–as I discovered–if it is made by somebody not from Venice.
The drink of Venice, made by Padua
Laura Marzano live
Spritz of Venezia