Thursday, February 6, 2014

Mambo Italiano: My New Favorite Drink

San Geraldo and I went for a good, brisk walk Tuesday afternoon. We had some appointments to make in the center of town and thought it would be a good way to kill two birds with one stone (as they say). Or as San Geraldo said, "We can kill 28 birds with one stone." (And this from a bird lover!) Given that the once again "svelter" San Geraldo moves at a brisk clip, I love walking with him.

On our way home, we passed Café Manila and San Geraldo suggested we stop for a coffee. Once I sat down, I wasn't in the mood for a coffee and, it being a gray, less-than-warm, winter afternoon on the Mediterranean Sea, a beer didn't sound like a good idea either — even though a beer, like our coffee, only costs 1€. Sam asked what we wanted and when I couldn't decide, she suggested a "La Mambo" (or at least that's what I thought she said). I asked what it was and she said, "hot chocolate and brandy." How could that possibly be bad? Café Manila serves it no frills, which is fine with me. They only charge 2.50€ for it.

Well, it wasn't bad. Not bad at all. In fact, it was so good I could have easily had another. But I refrained. San Geraldo took a sip and liked it so much he demonstrated some of his newly acquired Spanish. "Ooh La La!," he exclaimed. (Okay, maybe he needs to study some more.) It's my new favorite drink... of the week.

It turns out the drink is not called La Mambo. It's actually called "Lumumba," named for Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically elected and tragically brief and short-lived prime minister (1960) of the Republic of the Congo. 

The traditional version of the drink is made with cacao and rum (sometimes with the addition of cream, sometimes with amaretto or brandy). It can be served hot or cold (Hot Lumumba or Cold Lumumba). Mine was hot — perfect on a damp and chilly afternoon. My mis-hearing of the name had me singing along with Rosemary Clooney (and dancing with Sophia Loren) on our walk home.

Rosemary and Sophia were only in my head. My singing was aloud. Lucky for you, no video of me...


26 comments:

  1. I am in LOVE! Had a major crush on Sophia when I was a 'kid'!! Nobody can compare!! (settle down Jim).
    Whatever the name of that drink Mitch it got you 'moving' I bet!!

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    1. Jim:
      I've shown incredible self-control. Haven't had another Lamumba... yet.

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  2. That sounds deeeeelicious! but I think you'll have to drink mine as well. Love the song and can totally see you dancing and singing along.In Vatican garda pantaloons.

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    1. Jacquelineand....
      Oh, the sacrifices I make for you. OK, I'll drink yours, too. Where can I get a pair of those pantaloons (the Vatican men's store?)

      Delete
  3. Kind of funny how a certain drink is just perfect for the time and place... I have had a couple (well... maybe three) mojitos here..... don't think I've ever had rum before, but... I could learn to like it ;-)

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    1. Sharon:
      Oh, how I love a good mojito. And, yes, that Lumumba was the perfect drink for a dreary day.

      Delete
  4. Change the brandy for cointreau and you have me - in a manner of speaking. A couple of glasses and I could even be persuaded to indulge in a little Neutron dancing...

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    1. Kirk:
      It would be worth the extra price for the Cointreau just to see you Neutron dance.

      Delete
  5. I'm not a fan of hot chocolate but when you add brandy to it .... I'll have what he's having!

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    1. Bob:
      And, if you really don't like hot chocolate, you can just add even more brandy to it. I love them both.

      Delete
  6. Oooh, I just KNEW it was Mambo Italiano!

    I takes my victories where I can gets 'em.

    And the Hot Lumumba? That would go over very well here in Minneapolis, too, where it is currently -- I hate to even say it! -- 1 degree.

    Ai yi yi.

    Pearl

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    1. Oh, Pearl, you have my deepest sympathy. It's been at least 60 degrees warmer here (and when we're in the shade, we call that chilly). Take one of those sky bridges to the nearest bar and warm up with several Hot Lumumbas.

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  7. Love Sophia. The drink sounds nice too. I'll have to check the liquor cabinet.

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    1. Frank:
      Oh, I'm sure you'll find something in the liquor cabinet that will taste good in hot chocolate.

      Delete
  8. Love this scene with Sofia L. and Vittorio de Sica. I think you meant Oh ala (spanish) for Oh La La, (French) How civilized to have drinks at 2.50 Euros. Now you know you have died and gone to Heaven. No such luck on this side of the Pecos.

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    1. Laurent:
      Sorry. I was being facetious. The Spanish exclamation would be "ojalá" but, since I was quoting San Geraldo, it really wasn't any verifiable language. He speaks French when he says "ooh la la," as he does when he says, "moan doo, moan doo."

      Yes, I can get drunk very cheaply here (not to mention the fact that it only takes me two drinks to feel tipsy).

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    2. What is the Spanish for 'cheap date"??

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    3. Spo:
      For future reference, I think it would be: "Soy una cita barata." (not that it would ever come up in your case)

      Delete
  9. It's minus two here in ne Ohio and a hot Lumumba sounds very desirable! When will winter end........No time soon!

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    1. Kristi:
      I can't believe the winter you've been having there. Ours has been very mild so far. But not too mild that a hot Lumumba isn't welcome. I think you should try the hot lumumba cure. Just keep drinking them until you think you're warm.

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  10. Those guys kept staring at the gentleman dancing by himself I thought this was going to be a gay flick. Too funny.
    Jim won't stop talking about SL, sometimes I wonder about him!!
    Great dance eh!
    (Psst: haven't been around much lately, getting over flu and things)
    I hope to be back at life very soon!
    Ron

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    1. Ron:
      I've been thinking about you! So glad you're feeling well enough to stop by here for a visit. Hope your back to running with Sophie very soon. I also had/have a major crush on Sophia Loren. What is it about her? Must be the boobs.

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    2. must be! It's difficult the competition is full on though!
      winks

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  11. That sounds delicious Hot and with Whipped Cream for me……sure will come in handy right now with our ice and snow…….Sophia is such an awesome natural beauty -- who wouldn't want to dance with her to Roosemary??! XOXO

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    1. IWW:
      It's guaranteed to warm up your winter day. Looks like rain here; maybe a good day for Lumumba.

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  12. it does sound delicious yes.

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