Via de’ Servi, Padova, 1845. Day. Pastry Maestro Gian Battista Pezziol has a sudden stroke of genius; he does not know yet, but he is about to give life to a myth called VOV.
First things first: the Maestro is an artist, when it comes to nougat, a product that requires the use of several hundred egg whites a day; not all the yolks – alas! – are used for pastry-making, and, even though many of them are sold to the families in the area, there is always a certain surplus. The produce is perishable, and, at that time, difficult to preserve. What can be done, then?
Gian Battista Pezziol decides to use the yolks, mixing them with Marsala wine, sugar and lots of LOVE, in order to create a liquor with a natural and simple recipe, which he will call “Vovi“ (“eggs”, in Venetian language). Pretty soon the liquor became a hit, crossed the borders of Veneto, and changed name: VOV.
Still, to this day, all over the place, the name stands for the REAL egg-based liquor.
As early as 1856, at the time of Franz Joseph I of Austria and his wife, Elisabeth (the über-famous and über-beautiful Sisi), VOV enamours an army of aficionados, and racks up countless prizes, achieving the solemn seal of approval featuring the Imperial Coat of arms of the Austrian Empire.
Later on, VOV becomes the undisputed star in bars, pubs and clubs, and substitutes the traditional beaten egg in every home, thanks to its practicality and enjoyable taste. The legend is born.
When World War II kicks off, the liquor, thanks to its invigorating and uplifting properties, becomes supplies for troops, under the name “VAV2” – acronym for “Vino Alimento Vigoroso”, something like “Wine Vigorous Nourishment” – bottled in glazed paperboard, in order to make it easier to carry and transport.
VOV reaches its maximum popularity between the 1960s and the 1970s, when several knockoffs begin to pop up like mushrooms. Still, there’s nobody like him.
“One VOV!”, as a legendary Jamaican musician would say.