Among the most internationally known Italian cocktails the “Garibaldi” certainly deserves a place. It was created in the last century in order to remember the most important achievement of the “Hero of the two worlds”, the unification of northern and southern Italy. In fact, the ingredients are orange juice, fruit brought to Sicily by the Arabs, and Campari Bitter, an alcoholic drink symbol of Milan. There are also those who see instead in the red colour of the latter the evocation of the red shirt of the Garibaldi troops.
The inhabitants of Ischia are particularly close to Garibaldi, who visited the island in 1864 to treat the after-effects of his malleolus wound of the unfortunate expedition of Aspromonte two years earlier. In the month of his stay, Ischia found itself at the center of the Italian political scene and of the international attention. In fact, nobody believed that the general was only taking care of his health, but everyone suspected that he was preparing some new venture in Italy (the conquest of Rome still unredeemed) or abroad.
Enzo, the head barman of Excelsior, loves to propose this cocktail in summer as an aperitif at sunset, however he introduces a small variation to the classic recipe (4/10 Campari Bitter and 6/10 orange juice), when of course his clients allow. For some years Ischia Sapori has been producing a gin called Rupis, a juniper distillate with arugula, pipernia (wild thyme), lemon and strawberry tree fruit. The inspiration comes not from English gins, created in the mid-seventeenth century, but from previous experiments made by the monks of the Salerno Medical School. This is precisely Enzo’s additional ingredient, which adds solidity to the cocktail, maintaining its aroma and freshness.
Squeeze a couple of cold oranges from the refrigerator and strain the juice. Fill an old fashioned glass with ice, add the juice, pour the Campari Bitter and the Rupis Gin and mix slowly. Garnish with a slice of orange or lemon or with a mint leaf and serve.