Growing up I was like most children, in that I lived for those two glorious summer months of July and August. Mainly because I was free to spend as much of my time, often from sun up to sun down, at the local tennis club just around the corner from my house. It was there I began taking lessons, quickly finding my grip and grunting at full voice like a wannabe Monica Seles. I relentlessly begged my brothers to play and soon thereafter would demand a rematch!
Yesterday was a dream come true as I headed up to the Aviva Centre at York University with Peroni for a full day of tennis time at the 2017 Rogers Cup. It was a gloriously hot and sunny morning on the courts, where a team of Toronto tastemakers chased down countless forehands, backhands and then rallied against friendly Tennis Canada pros.
Warmed up and ready for a thirst quench, we quickly skipped over to the al fresco House of Peroni, a sun-soaked patio decked out in white folded chairs, petite tables and chic navy-blue umbrellas. We were greeted by Federico Riezzo, the Global Brand Ambassador and head mixologist for Peroni. The Italian mixologist has slung innovative cocktails at the likes of Zetter, Momo and the Sanderson Hotel in London as well as a slew of high-profile events around the world.
Frederico served a selection of Peroni muddled beer cocktails that celebrated distinctive Italian flavours and ingredients, from sweet and spicy to smokey and grassy. My fave of the bunch was the Peroni Al Fresco, a refreshing concoction featuring Peroni, elderflower cordial, lemon juice, simple syrup, basil, cucumber and cracked pepper – game – set – match! Yasssss.
Moments before the match we were escorted to a private suite perched over centre court where we devoured a full spread lunch featuring fresh salads, pretty panini, French pastries, Häagen-Dazs gelato and ice cold tall cans of Peroni. We ate our hearts out while the ladies battled and grunted for just shy of two hours. In the end it was Ukrainian, Elina Svitolina who took the championship and defeated Danish player Caroline Wozniacki in two edge-of-your-seat sets.
Story by Melissa Dennie Photos by Andrew Dobson and Mauricio Calero