LIT UPista: Da Vinci’s Tiger + Semifreddo Bellini

Title: Da Vinci’s Tiger
Author: L. M. Elliott
Sub Box: OwlCrate, December 2015


Drink: Bellini

Let’s switch this up and start with a drink so you can get good and toasted while we look at a book!

I don’t think there were really cocktails in 15th century Italy, but I could be full of wine wrong. So, I looked up “Italy 15th century cocktail” and found out that the peach bellini, while a mid 1900s cocktail, was named after da Vinci’s fellow Rennaisance painter because “its unique pink color reminded him of the toga of a saint in a painting by 15th-century Venetian artist Giovanni Bellini.”

Reputably sourced from Wikipedia.


Recipe for Semifreddo* Bellini [modified from Martha Stewart]


  • 1 cup frozen peaches
  • 1/4 cup peach schnapps
  • 3/4 cup plus a slosh of Prosecco
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • peach slices to garnish


Blend peaches, peach schnapps, a couple of sloshes of Prosecco, the sugar, and ice in a blender until smooth.
Divide mixture between 2 glasses.
Top off each glass with equal parts of Prosecco.


Verdict: 5 stars! I chose this and then was like man now I have to go grocery shopping. Nope! Just found some old peaches in the freezer, and some nice house guest brought over sparkly stuff that was probably for mimosas and football one morning. The bottom left image is of the gross rusty rust that was on the metal! After carefully removing it, then still having the cork shoot across the room, I sampled the bubbly separately for quality control purposes.

Good drink, guys! I call my cat Bellini sometimes, so I thought this was fitting for that reason as well.

Bella is on my desk, between my body and the keyboard, trying to lick my neck as I type this. This is how she tells me it is bedtime.

*Semifreddo means “half cold” in Italian. Here it refers to the slushy mixture that brings texture and flavor to this classic Champagne cocktail.



I finished Da Vinci’s Tiger at the end of February, then decided to send it to my old college roomie who is now an art teacher, and whose 30th birthday was last month [mine is coming soon]. This book was in my OwlCrate, and I was a bit apprehensive because I am not big into historical fiction. It is based off of one of da Vinci’s muses for a [rather dull] portrait.

Should I put a disclaimer that the opinions are of the blogger and not the site, so ye olde da Vinci fangirls don’t come pitchforking??

da vinci's tiger by l. m. elliott

It seems odd that they chose such a realistic portrait of this woman when it looks little like the painting. I do like the cover, though I saw the original cover and holy gorgeous!

da vinci's tiger book cover


Check out Goodreads or my OwlCrate December post for the synopsis.

ginevra de benici

The book is based off of this painting of Ginevra de’ Benci. The only thing I really like about this painting is her hair sheen. She looks pretty bummed out to me, but that was the style I suppose. Fun thing I learned: people didn’t all actually have outrageous foreheads back then–they plucked their hairlines back to make it look that way. I wonder what sort of beauty/hygiene things we do now that hundreds of years from now people will be all wtf dudes!?

Brazilian waxes no doubt.



Goodreads Review: 3.32 stars

My Review: 4 stars

Da Vinci's Tiger with Bella
There’s definitely cat hair coating this book.

I think one of my favorite parts about this book is that the author has a website set up so readers can go and see artistic works reference throughout the book! This is one of the reasons I sent it to my art teacher friend. She probably can’t put this into her middle school curriculum, but it’s something nice to have in an art teacher’s shelf for later, I suppose.

I am very visual, so I need all the pictures I can get [click to see photos that correspond to the book].


Da Vinci's Tiger excerpt

Ah, yes. I am in this book. My curls WOULD be hard to paint! Never hath anyone commenteth on mine hair in comparison to yonder eddy.

Da Vinci's Tiger excerpt

After reading Soundless [click for my review], I was quite happy to see a researched meal put into this book! Even if I have no interest in trying a peacock tongue, I would just eat around that and go for the carbs and goat cheese.

I think Pnut might show up too if I put out carbs and cheese! =D

Da Vinci's Tiger excerpt

This part I enjoyed because, while I am not religious, I do appreciate people who are open minded about other religions. I think it’s all different ways of worshiping the same entity, and the community and meditation aspects are what I view as most important.

Verdict: This story was really boring at first because there were a few chapters of a jousting tournament and boring people histories that I didn’t care about. After I flipped past all that, I got more into the story. I recommend this book if you enjoy historical fiction or if you’re a da Vinci fangirl.

Leonardistas? Renaissansual?



Congrats! You made it =) Is your pitcher of Bellinis all gone yet? Did you drink it alone?

I did… no judgments here. This is a safe place.

I just finished Dumplin from a previous OwlCrate [I swapped to get it actually], so we’ll be taking a peep at that next! Right now I’m reading Worlds of Ink and Shadows [from the January OwlCrate]. However, if you have a book you got in a box and you want us to review it, let us know! If you have any questions, comments, or other input, send a comment addressed to Onderria or email me at my username at gmail.

Leave a comment about a drink suggestion, a book you just finished, or your thoughts about this book!


Check out more LIT UPista reviews and drinky drinks.

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  9 comments for “LIT UPista: Da Vinci’s Tiger + Semifreddo Bellini

  1. April 16, 2016 at 1:52 pm
    Btw, I’m fine with bikinis AND bellinis! Preferably at the same time because it means I’m probably at the beach!

  2. CeciliaA
    April 16, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    The drink I can get firmly behind but I’m still not sure about the book. I just finished Worlds of Ink and Shadows and have come to the conclusion that historical fiction isn’t my thing. I’m sure that I will get around to reading DaVinci’s Tiger eventually. I just finished The Love That Split The World; it was better than I thought it would be considering the description of Friday Night Lights meets the Time Traveller’s Wife made me nervous. I now have to take a break from YA high school love and angst. Therefore, I am reading Snowblind because nothing says “I need a break from all these feelings” like horror.

    • April 16, 2016 at 7:49 pm

      Speaking of teen angst but in a good way..Have you guys seen The Fault in Our Stars?

      • Onderria
        April 17, 2016 at 12:57 pm

        Cecilia I also had to take a break so I’m listening to Landline by Rainbow Rowell. I love her! I may have to buy all her books.

        Mailbox Junkie I’ve not seen or read Fault in Our Stars, did you like it? My students kept telling me to read it so it’s on my list.

  3. April 16, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    Ah Bellinis……..they were the cause of my only migraine. do not mix cheap champagne and cheap peach snaps then drink an excess amount out of a nalgene….
    I love art history and I tend to love historical fiction so I might have to check this book out. I like it when they mention a bunch of historical art that I already know about so then I can feel smart about at least one topic

  4. April 16, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    Mmmm… Bellinis. There was a candle I got from Burke Decor when they had their sub box and it was called Champagne Bellini. The candle actually smelled like a Champagne Bellini it was incredible I necer had an candle that ACTUALLY smelled like a alcoholic beverage! Sometimes when I am tired and have my iPad in front of me I look at Burke Decor hoping they get their act together and sell those one time boxes they promised months ago.

    My favorite drinks are screwdrivers and lemon drops.

    Reading Dr. Suess books repeatedly is growing on me. I still need to finnish the Marie Kondo book from PopSugar.

    • Onderria
      April 17, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      Mmm I also like lemon drops but I always did them as shots in college and when I moved out here I was served one as an $11 drink while everyone else got shots of something gross and I was like why would you bring a round of shots and one random drink!?

      Pnut I was just thinking before I saw your comment that we need a Konmari post on how she improved your life. I gave my book to my sister. We should also do a Cravings series!

      • April 17, 2016 at 6:57 pm

        Heh…Imcrave many things most of are the neccesities. Sleep, carbs, and sweets.

        I need to finish that book.

  5. April 18, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    I live for these reviews!!!!!

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