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Dolce Vita
Cocktail recipes

Preparing a good cocktail is difficult, mainly because it requires at least the following:
  • the right ingredients: quality liqueurs should always be used, don't try to substitute an ingredient with its imitation (or the final result will never be the same as with the original)
  • the proper tools: mixer, shaker, filter, glasses, etc. according to the recipe and the circumstances
  • adequate skilfulness: you should train yourself across several temptatives before gaining ability in each recipe
  • appetizers: drink a cocktail with the corresponding appetizers, not all the appetizers are suitable for all cocktails, see my suggestions in the recipes section
  • environment: you can't enjoy a cocktail in the wrong environment, you can't think to drink in a garage...; taste it in a comfortable living room, with elegant furniture, good armchairs and sofa, in a merry atmosphere, possibly with open air balcony and a pleasant sight
  • the company of good friends: last but not least, people attending the cocktail should be carefully selected; don't admit annoying nor sad neither noisy people; usually your lovely wife will be the guest of choice, the promise for a nice after-dinner...
Remember that nobody will ever force you to prepare a cocktail and drink it: it's your choice. Cocktails pertain to the voluptuary aspects of the life, and if you decide to prepare a cocktail you ought to do it at the absolute best (not at the best that you can).
Usually the available cocktails literature only reports the recipes and no more than that. But there is more than the mere recipe to know to get satisfactory results.

Bartender outfit

The web is full of sites that describe bartenders' equipment and tools and I don't want to repeat it here. Below I am listing the equipment that I am in posses of:
  • mixer: a big glass of thin crystal used to mix, steer and pour the liqueurs
  • continental shaker: the classic shaker
  • Boston shaker: the two pieces shaker (crystal glass + stainless steel glass)
  • ice cubes mold: to prepare ice cubes; US home refrigerators automatically produce ice cubes, but I haven't seen something similar in Italy, this is why I have to use molds
  • ice holder: to hold ice cubes
  • fork/knife: to cut and move sliced fruit
  • filter: to pour from the mixer avoiding ice cubes to drop into the glasses
  • measuring cups: to exactly measure liqueurs
  • tumble glasses: good for Negroni, Bloody Mary, Daiquiry
  • Martini glasses: good for Martini cocktail and the like
  • toothpicks: to serve olives, onions, etc.; some toothpicks with coloured flags are necessary to add fun (avoid the flags of those countries which promoted or participated the Iraqi war)
  • single or multi compartment appetizer holders: to serve the appetizers
Please note that you ought to drink each cocktail in the corresponding glass. Fine glasses of the proper shapes are mandatory.


Always use the best liqueurs. Don't try to save money buying imitations. I am going to mention the brand name of the liqueurs that I usually buy, but I have not been paid for that by the respective manufacturers (although I'd liked they had !):
  • bitter: only buy Campari bitter, don't waste money with other brand names
  • gin: don't buy gin that is not distilled in England and imported from there; these are fine: Gordon's gin, Tanqueray, Blue sapphire
  • red vermouth: only buy Martini red
  • dry vermouth: only buy Martini extra dry (in Europe), or Martini dry (in the Americas)
  • rum: the rum of choice is Bacardi superior
  • vodka: don't buy vodka that is not distilled in Russia and imported from there; a good choice is Kubanskaya
  • blue curacao: preferred brands are Bols and De Kuyper
  • pisco: buy pisco from the town of Ica made from Quebranta grapes
  • bitter orange: from Bols
Other important liqueurs:
  • Aperol: a sweet orange light liqueur
  • Punt e Mes: an excellent vermouth not sweet nor bitter
  • Angostura: the famous bitter to be served in drops
  • red Tabasco: the famous red chili peppers sauce
  • syrups: redberry, strawberry, raspberry


A web page is dedicated to each of the following recipes: