Hi guys ☺
I hope you are all doing great!
I mean, it is summer after all so no matter what you are going through right now, try to breathe in the sunshine and enjoy it while it lasts. Forget the grey winter, the long dark hours and the short days..
This is the right time of the year to rejuvenate and to think positive. In a time where the world is (literally) upside down, where wars seem to come closer and closer, where presidents stopped fighting for their people and where the gap between the rich and the poor is at an ever high level there is only one thing we can do. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy the small things.
Now, having that in mind, what is the first though that comes to your head when I say “summer”?
Most of you will likely say “the beach”, “sand”, “the ocean” … others will think “good weather”, some might say “happiness”. Well, yes these are all legitimate thoughts, but I guess I am a little weird and think of Aperitivo ☺
Yup, you read that well… I know it sounds strange right? I mean, what the heck. Who relates summer to alcohol? Probably not a girl in her right mind !
Then again, “Aperitivo” is not alcohol to me..it does actually not relate to alcohol at all in my head. It is not that cold Aperol Spritz you enjoy on a terrace in Mykonos, and it is not the cold Hugo served in a Frankfurter bar. Aperitivo is more of an experience than a drink. Unfortunately an experience you can only have in one country: Italy.
No other country does it better, you should definitely do the Aperitivo the Italian way. Not the Spanish, not the American nor the Arab rich kids way… go for the dolce vita style. If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry. I will tell you in a second. But before that let me give you a couple of fun facts about the story behind the real aperitivo.
First of all let me show off my linguistic skills by telling you the meaning of the word (thanks, dictionary!). The word “Aperitivo” comes from the Latin “aperire”, or Italian “aprire” which means to open. In this case you are “opening” your stomach (ew??), mostly before dinner. Back in the 18th century the best drink to do that was said to be Vermouth, invented by Antonio Carpano in Turin. Since then this everlasting tradition evolved and became a real trademark of the Italian way.
What makes the Aperitivo time special is not actually the drink, but the little snacks that come with it. At the aperitivo time most bars slightly inflate the drink prices (I would say they are still reasonably priced though!) and offer you some snacks to it. The snacks vary according to the region you find yourself in and are always complimentary. And for the record… the snacks are not only made of chips and peanuts! You get mini pizzas, mini focaccias, giant olives, and some other specialties.
If you want to take it one step further you can go for something called “Apericena”. The word is a mixture between “aperitvo” and “cena” (the Italian word for dinner). This is a bit more pricy than a simple aperitivo but it is well worth it. You basically pay a fix price, let´s say 20EUR, and you get a drink plus a choice of different finger food options in an open buffet style. That´s perfect for those who know won´t have time for dinner after the aperitivo, or know they will not be able to take that extra pasta anymore.
Here are my top 3 favourite aperitivo bars so far (trust me, I tried a few, and though you can almost never go wrong, here you will certainly be super happy)
- Panella: Rome
- Le Bocche: Porto Venere
- Bar Basso: Milano
Last, but not least… what should you drink.. oh well, I might be a little old school but for the Aperitivo I always go for the classic Aperol Spritz ☺
If you have a few places you could recommend as well, pls write them below in the comments or send me an email!
PS: Want to enjoy your drink in the comfort of your home? No problem, here is how to prepare the perfect Aperol Spritz.
- Prosecco (3/5)
- Soda Water (1/5)
- Aperol (1/5 or ajust to taste)
- Ice, ice, ice
- Orange slices
Pour the beverages over ice and top with an orange slice 😉
Enjoy, and CIN CIN!