In La Dolce Vita, Fellini’s 1960 masterpiece, Marcello Mastroianni’s character, “Marcello Rubini”, is on a wistful quest for love, happiness, and meaning in a world decaying around him. A journalist of temporary culture in post-war Rome, he dreams of the literary life—a life of ideas, poetry, and the intellect—but his dream is derailed at every stop when a woman appears. Case in point, the beautiful and beguiling Sylvia, the Swedish-American film star and siren who summons
him from his ennui. During a charmed night, they end up not at the Trevi Fountain but in the Trevi Fountain, moments from each other’s embrace. Marcello is ready to forsake it all for her kiss, when dawn arrives, the spell is broken. For Marcello, a shrug of the shoulders, a half smile, an insouciant toss of the hands. This is life, after all, to approach happiness and have it recede like the horizon, yet still beautiful as it moves away.
Today’s cocktail echoes this bittersweet longing, this existential sigh, this all too familiar c’est la vie. In keeping with my recent exploration of the martini and its variations, I present to you, “Marcello & Anita in the Trevi Fountain”…
And as a postscript, the famous fountain scene was shot during winter. Too cold for Marcello Mastroianni the actor, he could not get comfortable with the scene (or the icy water) until he downed a bottle of vodka (see drink). And then properly plastered, he performed with aplomb.
MARCELLO & ANITA IN THE TREVI FOUNTAIN
2 parts Stolichnaya Vodka
½ part Chambord
splash of Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
¼ part of Shrub District Cranberry Juniper Cocktail Vinegar
Shake ingredients over ice, then pour into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with three
fresh raspberries on a pick.