Authentic is a term deriving from the greek authentikos meaning something or someone being genuine. In this evermore virtual world, being authentic and recognizing it in our lives, has been come a really difficult task. Our senses are more and more occupied in memorizing values, flavors, opinions and feelings that are not real and genuine. I will not go further into definition of the subject, but leave that to you readers to reflect on. I will give you in this article an example of what I consider an example of a highly authentic person, doing a highly authentic thing in – what you may call it – an angle of paradise…….. that maybe makes it easier to be be authentic or as Paolo Marazzi says himself: “I put my soul into my mixology and cuisine and create genuine experiences with authentic products, but I need the sea in front of me to produce that magic”.
A true feast of the senses
Oblivion is an exclusive restaurant & bar run by Paolo Marazzi at Torre del Mare (Bergeggi) Liguria near Spotorno on the Western Ponente Ligurian Riviera, the one rightly named “Dei Fiori” (The Flower Riviera) and starts from Genova and finishes in France.
Oblivion is exclusive and authentic in many ways. The breathtakingly beautiful and unique position in front of the Bergeggi island, blended with Paolo’s authentic approach to wine, food, and in particular mixology, becomes a real feast for the senses.
He uses products that reflect truly the history, tradition, and the soul of lands and persons from all over the world. Paolo is in constant search for new areas- and tendencies in order to be an authoritative reference point for those that wish to differentiate from the standardized proposals.
When choosing a product, for him is fundamental understanding the producer’s philosophy and be aware of all the steps that are taken for arriving at the final product.
The magic is always surrounding the Bergeggi island, be it by day or by night
Ligurian grapefruit & Caribbean rum
When choosing the basic ingredients for my personalized cocktail, the first thing that came to mind was my favorite citrus fruit, rose grapefruit. Staying in local theme, grapefruit happens to be also one of the main aromas in the typical Ligurian Pigato wine.
So that was an easy one. Paolo generally prefers to use rose grapefruit rather than yellow one in his mixology, because it is noticeably sweeter and lower in acidity and therefore preferable.
Notice the wax stripe on the rim of the glass reminding of the candle enhancing the orange essence
Choosing the rum- and sugar type
Generally when asking for a cocktail, one names the cocktail and then it is prepared due to official recipe. At Oblivion that is not the case, and is why it is so authentic. Paolo practically blends your personal cocktail after you have carefully chosen the base ingredients that you like. I chose the rose grapefruit and rum as base ingredients. Selecting the right rum type for you (or other spirit base for your drink), the customer tastes first the rum in a small glass so he can feel if it is the right rum according to his idea of taste, mild, spicy, white, gold ecc. Maximum of 3 tastings are advised, because after that the taste buds start to get confused. So it’s better to start off with a clear idea of the characteristics you wish to find in your rum.
The second one I tasted, was the right one according to the idea of my palate, a Caribbean spiced rum, Sailor Jerry blended with natural spices. For this occasion, Paolo used a Caribbean compact dark sugar.
The right rum & sugar chosen
Enhancing the citrus aroma
Citrus is an essential thing in mixology, and Paolo selects carefully his products in that field as in others. To brighten even more up the citrus flavor, and give a zesty fresh twist to the whole, he poured a drop of orange essence through candle light into the cocktail. We usually picture an other scene, a more romantic one by candle light, but in this case its role was a very practical one; to enhance the orange essence in the drink.
Enhancing the orange essence by candle light
Inspired by Spotorno
Paolo Marazzi is certainly not the only artist that have found great inspiration from the endless beaches of Spotorno areas and its lovely little typical Ligurian fisherman village atmosphere.
D.H. Lawrence arrived to Spotorno in 1925 to recover from tuberculosis, and chose the hotel of a friend, Miramare in Spotorno as his spot and then he and his wive, Frieda dwelled at Villa Bernarda. They couple dwelled for almost a year in Spotorno and fell in love with it of course. D.H. Lawrence most probably found there inspiration for his masterpiece Lady Chatterly’s Lover published in 1928. If you wish to read more about Lawrence’s Italian Riviera experience, Lady Chatterly’s Villa by Richard Owen is a recommended read.
Reserve your unique aperitivo and/or dining experience
Paolo Marazzi works only by reservation at Oblivion, in order to give the maximum of exclusiveness and attention to his customers. When around Spotorno, an aperitivo “su misura” (tailor-made) followed possible by a meal with the fresh catch of day, local vegetables accompanied by unique bio dynamic wine selection of the house, is a great end of a day on the beach, or after a walk in the beautiful Ligurian inlands.
For information and reservation:
Oblivion, Via Torre d’Ere, 1
+39 348 552 1720