Futurist Mixology: Polibibite, The Autarkic Italian Answer to the Cocktails of the 1930s
The Italian answer to cocktails of the 1930s
FUTURIST MIXOLOGY is the name of this fascinating, bilingual work (English/Italian) produced by Robert Bava of the house of COCCHI in Asti, Italy, which makes products that are much in line with the notions of this work. What is Futurism? Many would not know that it was a social system set up between the years 1925 and 1935 in Italy where poets, writers, and artists worked on notions that wanted to bring something new to the world after the shock of World War I. There was also some sense in it of what in the U.S. would be called “Modernism.” This work is for barmen, written by a barman–(I really do prefer this term to that of “bartender”!) His name is Fulvio Piccinino. There are elucidated 18 Futurist cocktails, called “polibibite” meaning a “drink made of many things,” the exact notion of a cocktail. There is a general history of the Futurist movement in art, food, and drink. It is enlightening--and for barmen--a real opportunity to look at what was being created and thought about during this period between two wars.
Italy is not much considered in the cocktail world, but just look at the idea of a “Negroni.” In Futurist Mixology, you have ideas about other similar drinks which should cause even more ideas, and so on. For barmen and the adventuresome drinker, this is a book to keep in the bar and also next to your bed. It is a terrific
About the Author
Integral to the success of not just Cocchi vermouth but also Bava Wines, Roberto is a man of two parts. He writes with a fountain pen – for which he makes his own ink – and has written a book on Italian Futurism – an artistic movement with its roots in the early 20th century – so you would be forgiven for thinking Bava a backward-looking man. Contrary to that view though, might be the fact that he has taken vermouth – a drink still wildly unpopular when he took over Cocchi in the 1980s – and brought it screeching into vivid popularity in 2020, modernising and revitalising an entire category, and founding, with other vermouth producers, the Vermouth di Torino Consortium. The connecting line between these two positions – a love of the past and an eye to the future – is an appreciation for quality in all things, and a desire to protect and improve on that quality.