I really can not believe I haven’t posted anything about mirto. Mirto is a late evening elixir. You can think port if you want to, but you would be losing some of the magic. One beautiful thing about mirto, other than its taste, is a miscommunication I had regarding it one night, months ago.
I have some decision making inabilities. Most of you know that. This occurs periodically throughout the day when confronted with menus, how to get to work, what to wear, what to write, etc. If at my little pub, it becomes “what to drink?” which exasperates the bartender. So one night, this happened. I had already had a lovely dinner, I was a tad wound up, and I wanted something mellow but not necessarily sleep inducing. That is the way I explained it. “Ah, you want mirto of course.”
But what is it? Well, the people at the bar had no idea. It’s made from little red berries. I think they come from a tree. But what does “mirto” mean. Well, an English girl was convinced it meant mirth. Mirth. How appropriate and perfect. Don’t we all want mirth delivered to us in a small, chilled glass. So mirth it was, for a long time.
And the taste, well, I think it is the best liquid I’ve encountered here. That is above the wines (even the Brunello) — and why I limit myself to maybe one mirto every month. It is not just the taste, it is the aftertaste. Nothing has ever made me want to kiss someone just to share that taste as much as mirto. I’ve not actually done that yet, but every time I take a sip I think of kissing. Not a rough, passionate one; just a simple six second kiss with your mouth only slightly open. More sharing than kissing. Maybe there is no way to explain. But it is sweet, lasting and somewhat surprising (and elvish — can it be elvish?).
So, one day while in Cinque Terre, imagine my surprise when I see these lovely posters of local flora and fauna. Including one depicting a, precisely you guessed it, mirto. Which is actually myrtle, not mirth (silly English girl). But thank goodness for the confusion. I still think of it as mirth.