I grew up in a family that mythologized bollito misto. It was one of those dishes that we constantly talked about, and planned on having whenever a festive occasion presented itself. New Year’s was always a sure bet. No wonder then that I found a man who came into our marriage with exactly one hand-written recipe: from his friend Bruno for bollito misto.
The other day I was day dreaming about bollito. But then I actually realized that what I was craving were the traditional condiments to the boiled meats. Salsa Verde and Frutta Mostarda. Salsa Verde, a heavenly mix of parsely, garlic and lemon takes some preparation. But Frutta Mostarda? I actually had a jar of that in the fridge and realized I didn’t need the bollito excuse to crack the lid.
And then the miracle occurred. Or was it an epiphany? Whatever. As I was digging into the spicy, syrupy goodness of the mostarda I had a thought: cocktail ingredient!
I use flavored syrups all the time for cocktails. And here I was, with a jar of sweet and spicy syrup studded with jewel like pieces of fruit just asking to me mix it into something.
Ok, I know a lot of you out there don’t like it when I bastardize the classic martini. So I’m not calling this a martini. A completely different name: Mostardini. That ok?
The jar I had to work with was Dondi, a pretty common brand, nothing special. But the cocktails were sublime. The chilled vodka the perfect base for the burn of the mustard. But I’d love to try it with a home made mostarda. My friend Judy De Witt says she put up a batch of Fennel Mostarda, and that it is extra hot. Judy’s coming down to Rome in January for a pizza making class we’re taking. Maybe she’ll bring down a jar of her mostarda and we can have a cocktail making session too. (Judy, I hope you’re reading this).
3 ounces of vodka
1/2 ounce sweet white vermouth
1 1/2 tablespoons of frutta mostarda syrup
3 small pieces of frutta mostarda
Pour vodka into shaker. Add vermouth and syrup. Add ice and stir (don't shake) until chilled.
Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with fruit skewered onto toothpick.