Italy is likely not the first country you think of when the word “cocktail” is mentioned. Nor the second or third, either, I bet. Sure, there’s the Negroni, but even that’s based on a drink called the Americano, and the other famous Italian cocktail, the Bellini, is really just a tarted up kir royale. Italy and cheese, sure. Wine? Certainly. Pasta? Obviously. But cocktails? Not so much.
But Stephen Mancini, wine and spirits director for Union Square Cafe in New York City, is out to ch