1. Latte di mandorla: a nutty drink
Almond milk shares only the physical aspect with dairy. Peeled almonds are soaked, blended and filtered. The result is a smooth and surprising drink. The Americans add sugar, the Italians don’t. Vegans use almond milk to substitute cow milk. Remember they taste completely different. A breakfast, outside, with a glass of latte di mandorle almost guarantees a beautiful day. And no flatulence.
2. Acqua zammù: a cloudy drink
Many countries around the Mediterranean have aniseed based drinks. Anis is Spain, ouzo in Greece, raki in Turkey and the Middle East, pastis in France. The difference? Quantity. In Palermo water is flavored with some drops, enough to create a cloud. Recently street venders picked up an ancient habit of selling acqua zammù along the streets. The factory still produces the same product, with the same recipe. Never change a winning team, right?
You need a hot climate to appreciate water fully. Cold water and shadow are the only two things one desires in a scorching hot summer. Back to basics, less is more, elementary purity, call it what you want, water is remains. Water is life, and you will fully understand that credo when hosted under the hot Sicilian sun.
4. Granita: a grainy drink
Somewhere between an ice cream, sorbet and a cold drink lays the granita. Water, sugar and various flavorings are semi frozen. One flavor at the time though: lemon, coffee, almonds are on the podium. A breakfast of champions? Granita and a brioce. The province of Messina is renowned for their fabulous yellow buns. Very few things are better in the morning.
5. Caffè freddo
Italians do not renounce to coffee, not even on the hottest summer day. So instead of a hot cup, they might order a cold coffee. Traditionally no more than cooled sugared coffee, sometime even slightly frozen. Recently the so-called ‘creme al caffè’ advance. And there’s not half as bad as they sound.