The perfect drink for enjoying with friends on a hot summer’s day, Dolce Nettare (or Nettare for short), is a drink created in Montania, which remains a local favorite to this day. Originally developed by a local Dressolini confectioner, the beverage was designed to try and beat the record high heats that dominated the summer of 265 AC. Dolce Nettare has quickly spread across the province, with some vendors even beginning to carry it in larger cities such as Regalia, Bastillion, and Calemberg. The drink is made with a relatively simple recipe, utilizing freshly grown fruits to create a refreshing flavor. Some nobility even enjoy the drink with snow brought down from the mountain peaks of the region, in a much slushier form than regularly available. Regardless of how it is enjoyed, it is certainly the perfect treat for those hot, dog days of summer.
The original creation of the drink is accredited to a local confectioner in the city of Bartolli, Montania. 265 AC saw record highs in weather for the Montania region, and many individuals could not be out in the sun for extended periods of time. Bartolli is famous for having several special mineral water fountains that provide water for the city; people typically came from miles around to sample the peculiar water. One local confectioner, Mario di Barto, had recently procured a shipment of fresh fruit that he intended to turn into special candy for the children.
After juicing the fruit, he needed some way of cooling it down before continuing his process, so he stored the juice in a bucket of cool spring water. Unfortunately for him, his cat got into the sweet shop during the night. As the animal attempted to get to some cream on a high shelf, it knocked it over into the basin where Mario was chilling his fruit juice. The cream bottle smashed into the juice container, which sprung a leak, and overnight the juice, cream, and water had intermingled. When Mario discovered it in the morning, he was distraught that he would not be able to use the juice. In an effort to save his investment, he sampled the mixture to see if he could recover anything, and to his surprise it tasted surprisingly refreshing.
Rushing out to the town market to purchase more fruit and cream, he attempted to make a fresh batch of the new concoction. Mario quickly began to spread word around town, getting local children to spread the word to their friends that Mario had a new treat he wished to share with everyone. Many who drank it found that, when made fresh, it kept the summer heat at bay and was easily enjoyed after a long day of working the fields. Mario quickly built on his success, making several different blends that he swapped out as the seasons changed. Soon word of the drink made its way to other towns, and from there spread across the entire region. To this day, Dolce Nettare is a staple of summertime for the Dressolini people, and is enjoyed by people across the world.
Dolce Nettare is incredibly easy to make. To start, combine the mineral water and fruit juice together in a pitcher, and stir until mixed thoroughly. Popular juice choices include apple, strawberry, banana, pineapple, lemon, and orange. Once settled, float the cream on top, and mix when ready to serve. It may separate a bit if left alone, so always remember to stir it before serving. If accessible, the drink can be added to a cup of snow or ground up ice and mixed to make a slurry.
- Depending on the juice used in making the beverage, Nettare can come in a variety of colors. These range from pale yellows, to bright pinks, to darker burgundies. Overall, the beverage has an opaque quality to it, due to the cream settling into the beverage. When mixed with crushed ice/snow, the drink remains the same opaque color, but will become slightly whiter due to the nature of the ice.
- Once again varying by the choice of fruit, the scent of a fresh glass of Nettare is tingling to the nose. The fresh mineral water often causes the drink to tickle the nose as it is consumed, and brings about slight earthy tones that are soon washed away by the fruity aroma.
- When made correctly, a fresh glass of Nettare will balance the sweetness of the fruit juice with the bitterness of the mineral water to make a refreshing medley in the mouth. This then is followed by the sweet creaminess that comes from the added cream to round off the flavor and leave the drinker refreshed and hydrated to continue on with their day.
- There is an adult version, dubbed Nettare Adulto, which replaces the juice with sweet wine. This version of the drink is popular among nobility and those who can afford to drink in excess.
- Dolce Nettare generally only lasts a few days at most, due to the nature of its ingredients. The remainder of the beverage at the end of its shelf life is often dumped into local waterways. Oddly enough, the people of Bartolli have an especially bad tooth decay problem, though Mario di Barto vehemently denies his creation having any involvement in this.
- One especially eccentric Dressolini noble commissioned a specially made fountain that sprayed Dolce Nettare into the air instead of water. It went through several gallons of Nettare over the course of one night, and required constant cleaning in order to continue operating.
- There is a Cielothar shop in Windgarden, Daendroc that makes a variation of Dolce Nettare dubbed, Dolcielo. They add two cups of sugar to the mixing process to make it much sweeter. Many Cielothar love it, but native Dressolini have a hard time drinking it unless they have a major sweet tooth.