We are in Sciacca, a beautiful seaside town in the southwestern part of Sicily where the port has been a portrait of economic and social life for many centuries. Many years ago, around 1900, before the existence of the plastic bottle, sailors used the “Quattara” to bring food on board.
The quattara was a terracotta pot with a pointed base in which the water, which is of fundamental importance in the sea, and various spirits were placed.
One of these spirits was “Sea foam” made with mandarin liqueur, orange juice, gin macerated with wheat, almond syrup and finally a ‘velvet’ coat made with a particular sugar (Sucerester).
The orange juice and the mandarin liqueur represented the coral of Sciacca, meanwhile the velvet that was in the upper part of the cocktail, represented the foam of the sea.
On board the fishing boats, during the weekend, when we were all together to fix the net, we drank this cocktail.
About Quattara, an insult has arisen around the Quartararo family: those who bear this surname are abbreviated with the name of “Quattara”.
Finally, linked to the Quattara there is a marine proverb: ‘la Quattara chi va a l’acqua o si rumpi o si ciacca’ means that ‘if someone insists on something with determination, sooner or later something bad happens’.
The ancient cocktail has been modernized and improved.