Death in Venice
A Martini Cocktail inspired by Thomas Mann's novella Death in Venice and the subsequent film by Visconti, Morte a Venezia. The cocktail was invented by British travel writer Robin Saikia and is served at the Grand Hotel Excelsior on the Venice Lido where it is mixed by bar manager Tony Micelotta. The strawberries allude to the fatal snack eaten by the novel's hero, Von Aschenbach, at a trattoria in Venice. Robin Saikia recommends Cîroc vodka for two reasons. First, it recalls the sirocco, the torrid Saharan wind mentioned by Mann in the novella and that bedevils the Mediterranean in high summer. Second, the slightly grappa-like taste of Cîroc complements the strawberry aquavit.
Stir vodka and strawberry aquavit with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass sprayed with Italian vermouth. Garnish with lemon twist.
Recipe and photographs on Robin Saikia's website: http://www.thevenicelido.com/2011/08/death-in-venice-cocktail.html