by Melinda Gallo

Finding my drink

Tucked behind via Calzaiuoli is a small bar called, Caffè Italiano, in via Condotta. I've been a few times for a quick espresso, but today my friend Sarah suggested that we go to fare due chiacchiere (chat). We walked past the bar, stealing a look at the dolci (desserts) on the counter, and headed up the stairs. We found a table next to the window where we could watch catch a glimpse of people walking by in via Condotta.

I realized the other day when I went to a bar that I don't have a drink. A lot of people I know, always order the same thing depending on the time of day: a cappuccino, caffè macchiato, cioccolata calda, a spuma (soda), or a prosecco. But, I don't have any specific drink that I always order, and usually under pressure, I just get an acqua gassata (sparkling water).

I checked out the menu and found that they had frullati (milkshakes/fruit drinks). I was also tempted by the many different types of cioccolate calde (hot chocolates), especially the one with peperoncino (red chili pepper), infusi (infusions), and caffè served with cannella (cinnamon), cioccolato, and different alcohols, which sounded good too.

The weather turned drastically on Monday this week with rain and freezing temperatures. After sitting out in the warm sun this last weekend, this change was completely unexpected and not welcomed by many.

I decided to order a frullato with fragola (strawberry), aceto balsamico (balsamic vinegar), and limone (lemon). I was going to get something more tropical, but I thought this sounded unique and quite interesting. I've had fragole with a few drops of aceto balsamico on top and loved it.

My frullato came in a margarita glass. An almost transparent red liquid floating almost to the rim. I took a quick sniff of it before tasting it and I could smell the aceto balsamico, which I must add I could drink quite easily all by itself. I took a sorso (sip) and the three flavors mixed incredibly well. The limone definitely lightened up the flavor of the aceto balsamico.

I sipped my frullato slowly, hoping to enjoy each sorso while we chatted and looked out at the people below. I miss going to a bar to just have a drink and talk, but this place felt ideal. There weren't that many people upstairs, so it was rather quiet. I don't usually like being in some locali (places) that have too many people walking in and out that I'm distracted a lot and look at everyone. So, it was nice to enjoy my drink and conversation with Sarah. We ended up sitting there for about two hours, and we both enjoyed it immensely.

I don't think I found "my" drink yet, but I do like experimenting a lot to try and find it.

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