Cocktail pairing, or the pairing of food and cocktails, is a trend in the food&beverage industry that arrived in Italy only a few years ago. Pairing a pasta, meat, or fish dish with a negroni, a gin, and tonic, or an Americano is prevalent abroad, but in Italy, a country with a strong wine vocation, it has yet to arrive.
Some Italian restaurateurs, attentive to the industry’s changes and innovations, have somehow pioneered this trend, now increasingly in vogue. Gin, vodka, or rum can enhance food flavor when adequately paired.
The Amalfitan Spritz
Among the pioneers of this new vanguard is Carlo De Filippo, owner of Pineta 1903.
It was, in fact, in 2022 that, in addition to the wine list, he began to offer his customers a cocktail list.
His trademarked Spritz Amalfitano was conquered for its freshness and was one of the most popular drinks to accompany dishes, especially appetizers.
The irony of a joke in two drinks
However, his research continued further. Inspired by a Neapolitan joke, Carlo De Filippo invented two other cocktails with original and unforgettable names: Manco pa’ Capa and Manco po’ Cazzo.
“Bringing these two cocktails to the table for me was both a surprise and fun precisely because of the inspiration from which these originate,” says the proprietor.
The joke is this. After years and years of study and research, a great Neapolitan scientist condensed two healing elixirs from the mango fruit. One had beneficial properties for headaches, and the other had aphrodisiac properties. The scientist spoke only Neapolitan, and after bottling the two elixirs, he made two specific labels. On the first, the label read “Mango pa’ Capa,” and on the second, “Mango po’ cazzo.” From these two wordings were born the cocktails served at Pineta in 1903.
“The ingredients,” De Filippo points out, “are more or less the same. For Manco pa’ Capa, use 5cl of fresh mango puree and passion fruit with 10cl of Prosecco or Champagne. For Manco po’ Cazzo, being a bit of an aphrodisiac, a little powdered or grated ginger is added to it. Both are cocktails that go perfectly with the menu created for this season.”
The mocktails menu
It is not only alcoholic beverages that make the menu more interesting, but also a long list of mocktails or non-alcoholic cocktails. “In recent years, I have noticed a need for alcohol-free drinks. Among my customers, because of the heat, health requirements, or something else, I thought about the possibility of creating a real mocktail menu to suggest as an alternative to the classic drinks on the market. A proposal that is having a lot of success,” De Filippo explains.
It is an alcohol-free version of some iconic beverages, including the Virgin Mojito, with mint, lime, sugar, and soda, to the Kiss on the Beach, with orange, peach juice, passion fruit, and soda, to the Berry Mule, with the strawberry, lime tour and Ginger, to the more creative ones including the Pink Velvet with cranberry, orange, lime, and Ginger or the Virgin Pornostar, with passion fruit, lime, and soda.