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hot coffee, alcohol and lemon, Livorno style

Served in a squat glass known as a gottino, with a lemon peel 'sail', Livorno's tipple dates from the late 17th or early 18th century, when British sailors introduced 'punch' (hence 'ponce'), and sold their rum rations in the local market. The alcohol of choice for a classic ponce alla Livornese is rumme, a concoction perfect for mixing with a steaming hot espresso.

Other versions include torpedine (with ginger) or la bomba.

Ponce alla romana, a stomach lightening gelato made with rum, orange, lemon, sugar and water invented by famed cookery writer Pellegrino Artusi for big feasts, designed to prepare an already full stomach for the main course of roast meats.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: ponceria