Sipping Away | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

I am thinking about Summer, the cozy corner in my garden is waiting, it will be good to sit there conversing with friends or by myself with my thoughts and a good book. A drink will be a nice complement to this pretty picture. In Italy we have a variety of Summer drinks that we can buy at any kiosk in the street while walking around in the Summer heat, or we can make at home just as good.
(Photo left: BH&G).
(Spritz right: Photo source / credit:

Orang Spritz


In Spritz veritas… a perfect orange mood!
Equal parts ingredients:
fresh squeezed orange juice
chilled Italian Prosecco (sparking wine)
a few verbena leaves
a couple of raspberries per person, orange slices for garnish.
Serve it either in a champagne glass or in a large juice glass.


First, place a couple of raspberry in the bottom of the glass, fill the glass half way with orange juice, then fill the rest of the glass with well-chilled Italian Prosecco.
Add a couple of verbena leaves, decorate the glass with an orange slice.
You can substitute Prosecco with sparkling water and crushed ice.

(Photos credit given to the respective owners)

Italian Lemonade
2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice, about 12 to 15 lemons
2 cups simple syrup
2 cups of chilled sparkling water
crushed ice
lemon slices and basil leaves

Make simple syrup first by combining 2 cups sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Cool it, before using. Squeeze fresh lemons, mix in simple syrup and water.  Place it in a nice looking pitcher and cool it in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve it with crushed ice and garnish with a lemon slice on the edge of the glass. To add a punch of taste a few fresh basil leaves will do.

Tropical Granita
Equal parts of water melon, pineapples, mango and oranges. Peel and chop all the fruit in chunks. Place them in a medium size saucepan with 1 cup of water and 1 cup of brown sugar if you like it sweet. I use no sugar. Bring to a boil, simmer for about 10 minutes to break down the fruit. Cool and strain it. Line a terrine with a plastic film and let it hang outside the terrine. It will to help you later in removing the frozen mixture from the terrine. Place the liquid in it and freeze.  After it becomes solid, grab the film and pull out the frozen mixture. Cut the mixture in strip about 4” long and ½” wide. Insert one fruit strip in each champagne glass and fill with Italian Prosecco or Champagne.

White peach, Cassis and Champagne floats
It will make two portions:
2  peaches, pitted and cut into small wedges
1 pint peach ice cream
2 tablespoons crème de Cassis (black-currant liqueur) and a little more for drizzling
2/3 cup chilled brut Champagne or sparkling wine

Make layers. Place 3 peach wedges in the bottom of each tall glasses. Top with 1 scoop ice cream, another layer of 3 peach wedges. Add second scoop ice cream and top with 2 more peach wedges. Drizzle 2 tablespoons crème de Cassis. Pour 1/3 cup Champagne or mineral water into each glass. One more scoop of ice cream, fill with champagne and serve.

June 10th  is the National Iced Tea Day. I like tea that are also medicinal to cure a common cold. Hand full of lemon tree leaves, mueller leaves and mint. Boil these leaves in water until water turns a nice golden color. Steep and cool it.  Fill serving glasses with crushed ice and tea, serve. Also serve it warm.

With these fun drinks you must have cool glasses.
Napa Style Glasses)

Napa Style sells a collection of six Venetian Tumblers for $59.00 with  the rack at $59.00 too.
For a more elegant look, try the Dotted Venetian glasses for champagne, liqueurs, white and red wines at $89.00 each set of four glasses.

Find more of these kind of Summer treats in my second published book: Sins Of A Queen, available here in this site on the Books page.

Enjoy your Summer with your favorite colors, friends, drinks and the perfect mood.
If you need help in creating the perfect atmosphere, please contact me, I shall be ready to help you with so many wonderful ideas. Ciao,


Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


VC10Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer with a passion for kitchens and cooking. She operates in the USA and Europe. She loves to remodel homes and loves to turn ugly spaces into castles, but especially loves to design kitchens and wine grottos, outdoor kitchens and outdoor rooms, great rooms and entertainment rooms. She is also the author of two Italian regional cuisine books available here in this site on the Books page, on Amazon and in various other locations:


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