With Florence being such a renowned city of romance, it is likely that everyone is excited to go out and see all the happy couples participate in public displays of affection.
Personally, I prefer to rejoice in the ambience of other peoples’ sickly happiness whilst under the influence of a lethal amount of alcohol… and by rejoice I mean shout profanities at them until someone starts crying, usually me.
So for all those bachelors and bachelorettes that will be sitting at home in their underwear on Friday, whilst binge eating and debating whether the next freak on Tinder might be their one true love, why not sample some of Italy’s strongest drinks and devoid yourself of all human emotion?
Here is a short guide to Italy’s intoxicants, presented in a convenient scale so that you can match the perfect drink to your level of emotional turmoil.
5) Aperol: (11%)
You’ve got the hots for someone at the moment and want some liquid courage before you try it on.
A sugary, yet slightly bitter, aperitif that mimics your situation perfectly: You’ve got the sweet thoughts of your fantasy crush, but the bitter realisation that it will never happen.
Aperol is an Italian-born alcohol made up of bitter orange, gentian flower, and rhubarb. It is typically enjoyed in an “Aperol Spritz,” which comprises of 3 parts prosecco, 2 parts Aperol, 1 part soda water, and 1 part denial.
4) Limoncello: (28% – 32%)
You’re single and “happy,” but those happy couples remind you of your hopeless string of empty love affairs.
A pleasant and sugary lemon-based liqueur. The sweet taste of single life followed by an extra kick to forget about your deep-set commitment issues.
Typical of Southern Italy, this zesty liqueur is now extremely popular and widely available. Serve chilled after dinner, or stick a straw in the bottle whilst watching Netflix.
3) The Americano: Campari (20.5%-28%), Vermouth (15%-18%), Soda Water (pfft)
You want to forget you are sad and lonely so you drink until the person across the bar becomes better looking.
Campari has bitter, gin-like flavours to it and hence can be an acquired taste. However the Americano eases you in to it. Just as you ease on over to that hideous creature on the dance floor. Campari-goggles have never been more useful, but you better make sure you have a bottle ready in the morning, or you’ll face crippling regret along with that hangover.
Despite its name, the Americano is very much Italian. Campari originates from Milano and Vermouth from Torino.
Fun fact: James Bond orders a cheeky Americano in the Casino Royal novel. Although I suggest you keep your pistol in your pants lads; chances are there will be no Bond Girls chasing after you. Welcome to reality.
2) The Negroni: Gin (37.5%), Campari (20.5-28%), Vermouth (15%-18%)
You are going to die alone so you may as well go out in a cloud of smoke.
Three types of alcohol and no mixers give this f**ker a strong punch. Stick to drinking these all night and you will forget about love and probably turn to good ole’ fashioned savagery.
The Negroni sprung into existence when some ruthless Florentine called Count Camillo Negroni decided that he had enough of soda water diluting his Americano and demanded the bartender replace it for gin. One thing you can Count on (sorry), is that this guy was never sober enough to deal with love.
1) Grappa: 35% – 60%
What is love? Baby don’t hurt me… Too late. Permanent liver damage.
So most countries have their own ridiculously strong alcohol that is borderline moonshine. Meet Italy’s contender: Grappa. Hitting alcohol volumes of up to 60%, this is a sure-fire way to forget your loneliness. As well as your name, identity and origins.
This clear brandy is made by distilling the pulp, seeds, and stems of grapes. Originally this process was begun to make use of the waste products of wine making. Now grappa is a famous and well-established product of Italy in its own right, and has been erasing memories since 1300AD.
Well there you have it. An easy-to-follow guide to romantic alcoholism. If in doubt, start at the top of the list and work your way down for maximum effectiveness.
See you in the emergency room.
Also, for those happy couples out there, you can check out our cutesy love reveal video here.