Where we’ve been drinking: Osteria Morini
Growing up we weren’t allowed to drink soda. Our refrigerator was always stocked with 6 gallons of non-fat milk (we had strong views about milk fat percentages). Childhood me did not pay attention to how quickly we consumed those 6 gallons, but it was a 1 gallon to 1 person ratio, which seems too high for really any amount of time. School lunches and Sunday brunches were special as they diversified our milk-based beverage diet, to Capri Suns and cranberry juice respectively.
While I eventually learned that milk with fat is delicious (thanks to my husband’s latte ordering, which I viewed as horrifically sinful until I accidentally sipped his and realized it tasted a 100x better than mine), I never came around to soda…or really any form of carbonation. The ‘bubbles’ (as my 8 year old self called them), I just couldn’t handle them. Both then, and now.
All of this is comes around to me confessing that I just really don’t like Champagne.
Champagne was really popular among my friends in our early twenties. And you know that no one has a lot of money in their early twenties; so it was hard for me to rally behind cheap bottles of Champagne that to me mostly tasted like carbonated, bad white wine. Bad white wine is yeasty and dry and makes my neck clench and my tongue do a reflexive puckering as if it’s trying to grasp what it just tasted. Adding ‘bubbles’ to that mix didn’t improve the situation. So I struck Champagne off my list; Champagne and I weren’t meant to be.
I dutifully take a few sips at weddings and do the customary squeal and ‘OMG’ when a girlfriend excitedly pulls out a bottle of Champagne for the group to share, but I often would rather return to the glass o non-fat milk from my youth.
Thus, you can imagine Brian’s surprise when we were at Osteri Morini for brunch, and I suggested we order the cocktail with Champagne in it. Maybe it’s moving to a new city, or the fact that it was October and it was still warm enough to eat brunch outside, or the fact that Negronis are one of my all time favorite drinks, but I felt a surge of determination: I will do the bold thing and try this Champagne brunch cocktail! (insert well deserved mockery for first-world, navel-gazing attempts at self-betterment, seriously).
What we ordered:
The Classico Bloody: Morini’s Classic Recipe
Negroni Spagliato: Campari, Dolin Rouge, Clara C prosecco
What we thought:
But the Negroni Spagliato! In addition to a cool name, we loved this Champagne variation. As a reminder, a classic Negroni is equal parts gin, sweet vermouth (aka red vermouth) and Campari (a bitter orange liqueur). Morini swapped out gin for Champagne, and who knew (who freaking knew!) I would like a drink with champagne in it. The flavors blended so nicely and it was lovely way to turn this classic Italian drink into a lighter, brunchy cocktail. And for all of you gin-haters who shrug at the Negroni, now you can’t.
The rest of brunch was decent. The service was some combination of friendly and slow. But now and forever Osteri Morini will hold a sweet space in my soul for making me reconsider the bubbly.