Here are our suggestions for cool refreshment in Lucca’s hot and spicy summer

Let’s face it, water is B-O-R-I-N-G! I don’t mean the rain from the heavens kind of water. If we had some of that I know most of us would be out dancing nuda in the streets. I mean HYDRATION water. Sure we all need lots of acqua fresca for good health, but we uomini e donne do not live by acqua alone. Sometimes we want to spice it up as we cool it down.

We polled our LuccaNews.Org contributors for their favorite bevande so you, dear readers, could float away on our sea of drinking experience. We had one stipulation, that it not be a touristy Aperol Spritz! Here are our ideas to keep you cool:

Hugo Spritz – Janelle Kaye Priest

“I am now hooked on Hugo Spritz. Muddled mint, 3 parts Prosecco, 2 parts Hugo, 1 part acqua frizzante, garnish with lime.” All poured over ice. Here’s the recipe:

Hugo Spritz

  • 4 mint leaves, muddled
  • 3 parts of Prosecco
  • 2 parts Hugo Liquor
  • 1 part of lemon balm syrup
  • a splash of soda
  • 1 lime slice or wedge
  • Muddle mint in glass. Add Ice to glass.
  • Pour in Prosecco, Hugo liquor and syrup and soda water
  • Stir, add lime slice or wedge
  • Lemon Balm Syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup lemon balm leaves
Hugo Spritz

Stir together first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and boil 1 minute or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let stand 30 minutes. Pour liquid through a wire-mesh strainer into an airtight container, discarding lemon balm leaves. Cover and chill 4 hours. Syrup may be stored in refrigerator up to 1 month. (This syrup can be excluded, but it does add an amazing depth to the drink.)”

Seconding the motion: Ilene Blessing Modica and Diana Trujillo.

Il Giovanni – Sandy Brown

“I learned about this ‘drink’ from my Italian hiking guide, so I named it after him since he told me it didn’t have a name. It’s non-alcoholic, which works well when you’re out there hiking and need a quick hydration without alcohol.

“It’s super simple and can be ordered at almost any bar or cafe. Here’s the recipe, which is designed as a DIY drink:

“Il Giovanni”
  • Ingredients: Order a lemon soda (Schweppe’s Limone is best because of the tartness. It doesn’t really work with a sweet lemon soda), a bottle of acqua frizzante, a glass of ice, and a slice of lemon
  • Fill the glass half full with acqua frizzante
  • Top the glass off with lemon soda.
  • The end (keep refilling and mixing)

“The great thing is that you are hydrating, the lemon soda is diluted to be less sugary, and you can sit with this for quite a while before it’s gone. I gulp these down on a hot day while hiking and couldn’t be happier to find a quick and refreshing drink!”

Aperol Tass – Giovanni Ramaccioni

Here’s a way to show you Tuscan savoir-faire when you have guests in town. Order an Aperol Tass, a local-ish drink that says Toscana like a Lucchese. Thanks to Giovanni Ramaccioni (my hiking guide) for contributing this delicacy.

“Ingredients are Aperol and Cedrata Tassoni. Take a small bottle of Cedrata Tassoni (180ml), which is non-alcoholic, and add a splash of Aperol. That turns the drink a delightfully orange color. Add a slice of lemon, orange, or lime.”

Cherry & Strawberry Herbal Tea – Candy Gianetti

Candy’s iced tea.

“I just make iced herbal tea every night, then drink it with lots of ice all day. When I go out, I join the tourists in their Aperol Spritzes. I still like it!

I use Twinings SuperGood Ciliegia e Fragola (cherry and strawberry) plus ice, nothing more. Add hot water, drop in tea bags, wait to cool down. Add ice.”

Crodino – Karin Auer Kueng

Crodino can be found at your local market.

“I actually really like Crodino (non-alcoholic) on ice with a slice of orange when I don’t drink boring water. Here’s info from its website:

“Crodino is a non-alcoholic aperitif produced in Italy since 1964 and is obtained by macerating some herbs and spices, with the addition of water and sugar; it is part of the soft drinks category, sparkling and sweetened, it has a peculiar orange color and a slightly bitter and citrusy taste.”

Other ideas…..

“I prefer Campari over Aperol! Just my opinion! Campari is more bitter and I like it with just ice too. Aperol is definitely sweeter” – Joanne Kelsay

“Just ice cold prosecco or sparkling rosato from Il Segreto. Sparkling Rosato is a sparkling sangiovese from Il Segreto vineyards. Some of their vineyards are 800m from the sea and some in the Lucchese hills so you get a mix of flavours. They leave the skins in briefly to get the pale pink colour and the rest is classic method for sparkling wine. It has good acidity so is very refreshing to drink. You can visit and do wine tasting at their base near Massarossa. They also do white sparkling and red and white still wine but this is my favourite. A bit more expensive than prosecco from the supermarket but you are supporting a local winemaker.” – Carol Tomlinson

“I enjoy a Hugo and Aperol too. Vinarkia has amazing cocktails that change with the season.” – Ilene Blessing Modica

How about you? Please add your choice in the comments. Happy hydrating!

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3 thoughts on “Here are our suggestions for cool refreshment in Lucca’s hot and spicy summer

  1. We have been turned on to a couple of new drinks recently.

    50 ml Limoncello
    75 ml Prosecco
    25 ml Soda
    Half a slice of lemon
    Mint leaves

    30 ml Camellia gin (available at Villa Reale)
    15 ml limoncello
    30 ml lemon juice
    20 ml passionfruit syrup
    10 ml sugar syrup
    fevertree Indian tonic
    (30 ml = 1 jigger, 15 ml = ½ jigger, lemon juice = ½ a lemon)
    Put first 5 ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice, shake well, strain into a glass full of ice (make sure no water in glass), fill 2/3 with mix. Finish with 1/3 fevertree Indian tonic.

  2. Great suggestions!
    I love a Mojito but often make it with Vodka. Also I avoid sugar where I can and use stevia or coconut sugar (instead of sugar) for home made guilt-free versions and lastly, if you want to make a healthy lemonade use lemon or lime juice, sparkling water and stevia.

    1 dose of Ruhm (or vodka but then its not anymore called a mojito)
    1-2 limes cut in quarters and pressed a little
    Fill up with sparkling water
    Add your sugar option to taste
    A handful mint leaves from the garden
    Stir thoroughly with a spoon

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