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Aperitivo: An Enviable Italian Ritual

Aperitivo: An Enviable Italian Ritual

Aperitivo in Milano. Photo courtesy of Luca Volpi.

If you ever find yourself in Russia, and someone offers you a glass of Vodka, you don’t turn it down. The same is true in Italy, when being served food, whether you’re hungry or not.

San Pedro Market, Cuzco, Peru. Photo courtesy of Andean Discovery.

Aperitivo: Drinks Paired with Food

The freshly baked focaccia sits in front of me. Next to it, taking center stage, pieces of toasted bread sit underneath well-oiled, succulent tomatoes. Across the way, a tiny, purple pyramid of olives fills a white bowl, and rests in a golden sea.

Just a moment ago I ordered a glass of Prosecco. Upon its arrival came this savory selection of appetizers, posing a real problem for me. It’s six o’clock in the evening and a four-course dinner awaits me later tonight. I have no intentions of spoiling my appetite. On the other hand, turning down food in Italy could give the wrong impression that something is wrong with the meal, injuring the pride of those serving it.

Placing my wine back on the table, I admire the plates again. They are silently staring back at me, seducing my taste buds.

Freshly baked focaccia with garlic and rosemary. Photo courtesy of Alexander Von Halem.

Fragrant, baked garlic cloves sit tucked in tiny divots atop the focaccia. Their warm caramelized juices seep out. Enticing aromas float through the air. Hints of rosemary sneak up and touch my nose, then dance away. Come a little closer, they beckon me.

I want to send the food back. I didn’t order it. But then again I would love just a bite.

I hear a faint whisper. What are you afraid of? Have a taste. And again, the seduction continues.

Mouth watering Bruschetta. Photo courtesy of Michael Spencer

Next to the focaccia, the bruschetta baits me with its brilliant red and yellow looks. It catches my eye and I’m about to give in, almost picking up a piece, but then I stop myself. Two can play at this game. Leaning down I simply smell the bouquet of earthy, fresh tomatoes and garlic. My resolution, however, is diminishing.

Olives marinating in oil. Photo courtesy of Stuart Spivack.

As if I could handle any more, flirting on the other side of the table, the tiny bowl of olives comes into view. The purple skins dressed in golden olive oil await me. Their salty, rich flavors radiate toward me, reaching for my lips.

I don’t think I can resist any longer.

My willpower has been defeated and I feel myself relinquishing to the food. Ready to satisfy my craving, I reach for the tiny focaccia square.

And the wait is over. My palate breathes a sigh of fulfillment.

In almost perfect timing, so I do not overindulge my appetite, my Italian friend arrives. She partakes in the finger food, without a second thought of it ruining her evening dinner.

Telling her about the unexpected arrival of food with my drink, she laughs and explains the concept of Aperitivo.

Aperitivo: More Than A Happy Hour

Aperitivo is derived from the Latin word, aperire, meaning opening. The pre-dinner drink and spread of food is meant to open the palate, awaken the taste buds, and stir up the stomach juices.

Occurring after work between the hours of 6pm and 8pm, aperitivo is not to be confused with the American happy hour. Rather than overindulging in drinks with friends, Italians indulge their senses in preparation for a dinner ahead.

Campari is a typical drink enjoyed during aperitivo. Photo courtesy of Massimiliano.

Typically, drinks that will kick-start the digestive system are low in alcohol content and tend to be bitter rather than sweet. Good choices are the “Spritz” (Prosecco, Aperol or Campari, and soda water), the “Americano” (Vermouth, Campari and soda water) or the “Negroni” (Gin, Vermouth, and Campari). My personal favorite is a light and refreshing glass of Prosecco wine, especially enjoyed on a midsummer’s night at an outdoor bar.

Aperitivo time – Prosecco and a few snacks to open the palate. Photo courtesy of Fabiana.

Food offerings vary depending on which bar you find yourself, but are always included in the price of your drink. A very busy time of day, these establishments seek to produce the best aperitivo in town. While some places keep it simple, only offering bowls of olives, nuts and chips; other places offer dishes that could contend with those of a four-course dinner. Freshly baked focaccia and bruschetta, platters of meats and cheeses, and marinated vegetables are quite common, and rival the first course of dinner, the antipasti. Still, competing with dinner itself, other places offer an elaborate buffet, testing one’s willpower not to overindulge.

Aperitivo with variety. Photo courtesy of Anie Mendreck.

One thing is for sure: Italians are passionate about their food. The aperitivo is a testament that eating in Italy is taken seriously. Nothing is overlooked or ignored. Dinner consists of more than preparing the meal and eating it. While the appetite may seem like something that hardly needs addressing, it is considered a very important detail in Italian culture. Breathing energy into it by way of aperitivo ensures a very enjoyable dinner ahead.

Aperitivo: Experience it for Yourself

Aperitivo in Italy. Photo courtesy of Fabiana.

An alluring scene awaits you in Italy. Next time you find yourself in the land of food and wine, find a local bar and experience an aperitivo for yourself. Better yet, grab a bottle of Prosecco, a few small snacks and surround yourself with good company for a do-it-yourself aperitivo, wherever you are.

Where do you like to enjoy Aperitivo in Italy? What’s your favorite drink or snack to stimulate your palate?

The post Aperitivo: An Enviable Italian Ritual appeared first on Epicure & Culture.


Italian Aperitivo: A Chic Ritual Before Dinner

Italy is full of rituals, little everyday moments that immediately make you feel happier. The aperitivo is certainly one of those, a way to end the day in a relaxed mood after many long and labourious hours of work.

The aperitivo has ancient origins and was born in Turin more than 200 years ago in 1786 when Mr. Antonio Benedetto Carpano started producing an aromatised wine with an infusion of herbs and spices in his little shop. The aperitivo was actually unconsciously consumed by the Romans who drank ‘mulsum’, a drink consisting of wine and honey, which was used to stimulate the appetite (in Latin “aperitivus” – that opens).

The aperitivo (or happy hour) nowadays is an increasingly popular, worldwide ritual where more and more people choose to prepare it in the comforts of their own homes to enjoy a moment of conviviality with their closest friends whilst indulging in their favourite wines, cocktails and home-made appetizers.

All of us can become a master of aperitivos if you know how to do it properly. Today we reveal to you all the secrets which are guaranteed to impress your guests by simply flaunting just a little bit of true Italian flair.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
It seems obvious but you always have to offer the highest quality of food and beverage items to your guests for an aperitivo. All of your finger foods have to be simple, appealing to the eye and made only with fresh and high quality ingredients. Check in your closest markets and delis for the most seasonal and locally sourced top quality products.
SERVE TO IMPRESS
You don’t want to be serving the usual boring drinks do you? Ask Google or your most trusted barman for some advice to impress your guests in this department to suit your favoured palate. Every dish and drink must have a little garnish to add character, maybe add some small decorations like a few blueberries to the cocktail and try to use traditional style crockery to make your dishes appear more authentic. And each dish has to be Instagram-appropriate, of course!
MISE EN PLACE LIKE A PRO
Don’t just think about what you are going to prepare but also about how you are going to present it. By having a rustic style tablecloth, a traditional looking set of dishes and using some fun accessories which will enchant your guests, even the simplest recipe will appear to be created by a star chef. Seeing is believing!
MAGICAL SUNLIGHT
Summer aperitivos are obviously held outdoors so you can enjoy the golden hour with your friends whilst the sun sets, cocktails in hand, in the welcoming, homely atmosphere of your garden or terrace. Don’t have a garden? Not to worry, try a chic-nic on the beach or at your local park for the ultimate outdoor aperitivo experience.

These are the main key pointers for the perfect homemade aperitivo, now you only need to
invite your friends or sweetheart and voilà! If you’re still not sure that you can become
the ultimate master of aperitivos, here’s two incredibly simple but mouthwateringly delicious recipes for you to try out!

MELON & PROSCIUTTO: A CLASSIC ITALIAN FINGER FOOD, A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

Melon & prosciutto is the perfect combination of freshness and simplicity, a real Italian summer signature dish. The delicate taste and balance between the juicy cantaloupe sweetness and the saltiness of the prosciutto is quite simply an utter delight. It’s a historic Italian recipe with origins dating all the way back to the ancient times of the second century AD. We have to go back to Galen, the most famous doctor in the Roman Empire, to explore his theory of the four humours in order to understand the methodology behind this
rather unusual pairing of sweet fruit and seasoned meat. According to his studies, in order to be able to cure illnesses it was necessary to restore the body’s balance through feeding. That’s why cuisine became a combinational art form and this creative pairing became
so famous throughout the centuries.

WHAT’S BETTER THAN A REFRESHING AND MAYBE EVEN A LITTLE AROMATIC EVENING APERITIVO AFTER A HOT DAY IN THE WORKPLACE?

If you’re looking to cool down with a cocktail, here’s an Italian classic that’s absolutely perfect for the summer – the Spritz Hugo or Hugò!

The Hugò is a true blast of freshness – an elderflower themed cocktail that’s perfect for the aperitivo hours or after dinner. It has a very low alcohol content and can be considered as an alternative option to the more common Spritz. It’s a very refreshing and energising drink, the perfect pairing with a freshly made melon & prosciutto roll and above all, nice
and easy to prepare. Born high in the the Dolomites in South Tyrol, thanks to Roland Gruber who had the brilliant idea of flavoring the classic goblet of Prosecco with mint and elderflower syrup, the result is a sublime cocktail with a subtle, aromatic floral flavour.

METHOD

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium to high heat.
2. Add flour, then whisk in the milk.
3. Bring to boil whilst stirring constantly.
4. Add the Parmigiano Reggiano DOP and stir until it has melted.
5. Season with salt.
6. Cut and deseed the cantaloupe, then peel and cut the flesh into 40 bite-sized
pieces.
7. Wrap a prosciutto slice around each cantaloupe chunk.
8. Fill the bottom of the plate with Parmigiano Reggiano sauce, then add the melon &
prosciutto rolls and garnish with a few traditional balsamic vinegar drops.

1. Place the ice cubes in a large wine glass.
2. Gently muddle the mint and add the juice from one lemon wedge.
3. Add 1 part elderflower concentrate followed up to 3 parts Prosecco.
4. Stir and add a splash of selz


Italian Aperitivo: A Chic Ritual Before Dinner

Italy is full of rituals, little everyday moments that immediately make you feel happier. The aperitivo is certainly one of those, a way to end the day in a relaxed mood after many long and labourious hours of work.

The aperitivo has ancient origins and was born in Turin more than 200 years ago in 1786 when Mr. Antonio Benedetto Carpano started producing an aromatised wine with an infusion of herbs and spices in his little shop. The aperitivo was actually unconsciously consumed by the Romans who drank ‘mulsum’, a drink consisting of wine and honey, which was used to stimulate the appetite (in Latin “aperitivus” – that opens).

The aperitivo (or happy hour) nowadays is an increasingly popular, worldwide ritual where more and more people choose to prepare it in the comforts of their own homes to enjoy a moment of conviviality with their closest friends whilst indulging in their favourite wines, cocktails and home-made appetizers.

All of us can become a master of aperitivos if you know how to do it properly. Today we reveal to you all the secrets which are guaranteed to impress your guests by simply flaunting just a little bit of true Italian flair.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
It seems obvious but you always have to offer the highest quality of food and beverage items to your guests for an aperitivo. All of your finger foods have to be simple, appealing to the eye and made only with fresh and high quality ingredients. Check in your closest markets and delis for the most seasonal and locally sourced top quality products.
SERVE TO IMPRESS
You don’t want to be serving the usual boring drinks do you? Ask Google or your most trusted barman for some advice to impress your guests in this department to suit your favoured palate. Every dish and drink must have a little garnish to add character, maybe add some small decorations like a few blueberries to the cocktail and try to use traditional style crockery to make your dishes appear more authentic. And each dish has to be Instagram-appropriate, of course!
MISE EN PLACE LIKE A PRO
Don’t just think about what you are going to prepare but also about how you are going to present it. By having a rustic style tablecloth, a traditional looking set of dishes and using some fun accessories which will enchant your guests, even the simplest recipe will appear to be created by a star chef. Seeing is believing!
MAGICAL SUNLIGHT
Summer aperitivos are obviously held outdoors so you can enjoy the golden hour with your friends whilst the sun sets, cocktails in hand, in the welcoming, homely atmosphere of your garden or terrace. Don’t have a garden? Not to worry, try a chic-nic on the beach or at your local park for the ultimate outdoor aperitivo experience.

These are the main key pointers for the perfect homemade aperitivo, now you only need to
invite your friends or sweetheart and voilà! If you’re still not sure that you can become
the ultimate master of aperitivos, here’s two incredibly simple but mouthwateringly delicious recipes for you to try out!

MELON & PROSCIUTTO: A CLASSIC ITALIAN FINGER FOOD, A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

Melon & prosciutto is the perfect combination of freshness and simplicity, a real Italian summer signature dish. The delicate taste and balance between the juicy cantaloupe sweetness and the saltiness of the prosciutto is quite simply an utter delight. It’s a historic Italian recipe with origins dating all the way back to the ancient times of the second century AD. We have to go back to Galen, the most famous doctor in the Roman Empire, to explore his theory of the four humours in order to understand the methodology behind this
rather unusual pairing of sweet fruit and seasoned meat. According to his studies, in order to be able to cure illnesses it was necessary to restore the body’s balance through feeding. That’s why cuisine became a combinational art form and this creative pairing became
so famous throughout the centuries.

WHAT’S BETTER THAN A REFRESHING AND MAYBE EVEN A LITTLE AROMATIC EVENING APERITIVO AFTER A HOT DAY IN THE WORKPLACE?

If you’re looking to cool down with a cocktail, here’s an Italian classic that’s absolutely perfect for the summer – the Spritz Hugo or Hugò!

The Hugò is a true blast of freshness – an elderflower themed cocktail that’s perfect for the aperitivo hours or after dinner. It has a very low alcohol content and can be considered as an alternative option to the more common Spritz. It’s a very refreshing and energising drink, the perfect pairing with a freshly made melon & prosciutto roll and above all, nice
and easy to prepare. Born high in the the Dolomites in South Tyrol, thanks to Roland Gruber who had the brilliant idea of flavoring the classic goblet of Prosecco with mint and elderflower syrup, the result is a sublime cocktail with a subtle, aromatic floral flavour.

METHOD

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium to high heat.
2. Add flour, then whisk in the milk.
3. Bring to boil whilst stirring constantly.
4. Add the Parmigiano Reggiano DOP and stir until it has melted.
5. Season with salt.
6. Cut and deseed the cantaloupe, then peel and cut the flesh into 40 bite-sized
pieces.
7. Wrap a prosciutto slice around each cantaloupe chunk.
8. Fill the bottom of the plate with Parmigiano Reggiano sauce, then add the melon &
prosciutto rolls and garnish with a few traditional balsamic vinegar drops.

1. Place the ice cubes in a large wine glass.
2. Gently muddle the mint and add the juice from one lemon wedge.
3. Add 1 part elderflower concentrate followed up to 3 parts Prosecco.
4. Stir and add a splash of selz


Italian Aperitivo: A Chic Ritual Before Dinner

Italy is full of rituals, little everyday moments that immediately make you feel happier. The aperitivo is certainly one of those, a way to end the day in a relaxed mood after many long and labourious hours of work.

The aperitivo has ancient origins and was born in Turin more than 200 years ago in 1786 when Mr. Antonio Benedetto Carpano started producing an aromatised wine with an infusion of herbs and spices in his little shop. The aperitivo was actually unconsciously consumed by the Romans who drank ‘mulsum’, a drink consisting of wine and honey, which was used to stimulate the appetite (in Latin “aperitivus” – that opens).

The aperitivo (or happy hour) nowadays is an increasingly popular, worldwide ritual where more and more people choose to prepare it in the comforts of their own homes to enjoy a moment of conviviality with their closest friends whilst indulging in their favourite wines, cocktails and home-made appetizers.

All of us can become a master of aperitivos if you know how to do it properly. Today we reveal to you all the secrets which are guaranteed to impress your guests by simply flaunting just a little bit of true Italian flair.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
It seems obvious but you always have to offer the highest quality of food and beverage items to your guests for an aperitivo. All of your finger foods have to be simple, appealing to the eye and made only with fresh and high quality ingredients. Check in your closest markets and delis for the most seasonal and locally sourced top quality products.
SERVE TO IMPRESS
You don’t want to be serving the usual boring drinks do you? Ask Google or your most trusted barman for some advice to impress your guests in this department to suit your favoured palate. Every dish and drink must have a little garnish to add character, maybe add some small decorations like a few blueberries to the cocktail and try to use traditional style crockery to make your dishes appear more authentic. And each dish has to be Instagram-appropriate, of course!
MISE EN PLACE LIKE A PRO
Don’t just think about what you are going to prepare but also about how you are going to present it. By having a rustic style tablecloth, a traditional looking set of dishes and using some fun accessories which will enchant your guests, even the simplest recipe will appear to be created by a star chef. Seeing is believing!
MAGICAL SUNLIGHT
Summer aperitivos are obviously held outdoors so you can enjoy the golden hour with your friends whilst the sun sets, cocktails in hand, in the welcoming, homely atmosphere of your garden or terrace. Don’t have a garden? Not to worry, try a chic-nic on the beach or at your local park for the ultimate outdoor aperitivo experience.

These are the main key pointers for the perfect homemade aperitivo, now you only need to
invite your friends or sweetheart and voilà! If you’re still not sure that you can become
the ultimate master of aperitivos, here’s two incredibly simple but mouthwateringly delicious recipes for you to try out!

MELON & PROSCIUTTO: A CLASSIC ITALIAN FINGER FOOD, A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

Melon & prosciutto is the perfect combination of freshness and simplicity, a real Italian summer signature dish. The delicate taste and balance between the juicy cantaloupe sweetness and the saltiness of the prosciutto is quite simply an utter delight. It’s a historic Italian recipe with origins dating all the way back to the ancient times of the second century AD. We have to go back to Galen, the most famous doctor in the Roman Empire, to explore his theory of the four humours in order to understand the methodology behind this
rather unusual pairing of sweet fruit and seasoned meat. According to his studies, in order to be able to cure illnesses it was necessary to restore the body’s balance through feeding. That’s why cuisine became a combinational art form and this creative pairing became
so famous throughout the centuries.

WHAT’S BETTER THAN A REFRESHING AND MAYBE EVEN A LITTLE AROMATIC EVENING APERITIVO AFTER A HOT DAY IN THE WORKPLACE?

If you’re looking to cool down with a cocktail, here’s an Italian classic that’s absolutely perfect for the summer – the Spritz Hugo or Hugò!

The Hugò is a true blast of freshness – an elderflower themed cocktail that’s perfect for the aperitivo hours or after dinner. It has a very low alcohol content and can be considered as an alternative option to the more common Spritz. It’s a very refreshing and energising drink, the perfect pairing with a freshly made melon & prosciutto roll and above all, nice
and easy to prepare. Born high in the the Dolomites in South Tyrol, thanks to Roland Gruber who had the brilliant idea of flavoring the classic goblet of Prosecco with mint and elderflower syrup, the result is a sublime cocktail with a subtle, aromatic floral flavour.

METHOD

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium to high heat.
2. Add flour, then whisk in the milk.
3. Bring to boil whilst stirring constantly.
4. Add the Parmigiano Reggiano DOP and stir until it has melted.
5. Season with salt.
6. Cut and deseed the cantaloupe, then peel and cut the flesh into 40 bite-sized
pieces.
7. Wrap a prosciutto slice around each cantaloupe chunk.
8. Fill the bottom of the plate with Parmigiano Reggiano sauce, then add the melon &
prosciutto rolls and garnish with a few traditional balsamic vinegar drops.

1. Place the ice cubes in a large wine glass.
2. Gently muddle the mint and add the juice from one lemon wedge.
3. Add 1 part elderflower concentrate followed up to 3 parts Prosecco.
4. Stir and add a splash of selz


Italian Aperitivo: A Chic Ritual Before Dinner

Italy is full of rituals, little everyday moments that immediately make you feel happier. The aperitivo is certainly one of those, a way to end the day in a relaxed mood after many long and labourious hours of work.

The aperitivo has ancient origins and was born in Turin more than 200 years ago in 1786 when Mr. Antonio Benedetto Carpano started producing an aromatised wine with an infusion of herbs and spices in his little shop. The aperitivo was actually unconsciously consumed by the Romans who drank ‘mulsum’, a drink consisting of wine and honey, which was used to stimulate the appetite (in Latin “aperitivus” – that opens).

The aperitivo (or happy hour) nowadays is an increasingly popular, worldwide ritual where more and more people choose to prepare it in the comforts of their own homes to enjoy a moment of conviviality with their closest friends whilst indulging in their favourite wines, cocktails and home-made appetizers.

All of us can become a master of aperitivos if you know how to do it properly. Today we reveal to you all the secrets which are guaranteed to impress your guests by simply flaunting just a little bit of true Italian flair.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
It seems obvious but you always have to offer the highest quality of food and beverage items to your guests for an aperitivo. All of your finger foods have to be simple, appealing to the eye and made only with fresh and high quality ingredients. Check in your closest markets and delis for the most seasonal and locally sourced top quality products.
SERVE TO IMPRESS
You don’t want to be serving the usual boring drinks do you? Ask Google or your most trusted barman for some advice to impress your guests in this department to suit your favoured palate. Every dish and drink must have a little garnish to add character, maybe add some small decorations like a few blueberries to the cocktail and try to use traditional style crockery to make your dishes appear more authentic. And each dish has to be Instagram-appropriate, of course!
MISE EN PLACE LIKE A PRO
Don’t just think about what you are going to prepare but also about how you are going to present it. By having a rustic style tablecloth, a traditional looking set of dishes and using some fun accessories which will enchant your guests, even the simplest recipe will appear to be created by a star chef. Seeing is believing!
MAGICAL SUNLIGHT
Summer aperitivos are obviously held outdoors so you can enjoy the golden hour with your friends whilst the sun sets, cocktails in hand, in the welcoming, homely atmosphere of your garden or terrace. Don’t have a garden? Not to worry, try a chic-nic on the beach or at your local park for the ultimate outdoor aperitivo experience.

These are the main key pointers for the perfect homemade aperitivo, now you only need to
invite your friends or sweetheart and voilà! If you’re still not sure that you can become
the ultimate master of aperitivos, here’s two incredibly simple but mouthwateringly delicious recipes for you to try out!

MELON & PROSCIUTTO: A CLASSIC ITALIAN FINGER FOOD, A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

Melon & prosciutto is the perfect combination of freshness and simplicity, a real Italian summer signature dish. The delicate taste and balance between the juicy cantaloupe sweetness and the saltiness of the prosciutto is quite simply an utter delight. It’s a historic Italian recipe with origins dating all the way back to the ancient times of the second century AD. We have to go back to Galen, the most famous doctor in the Roman Empire, to explore his theory of the four humours in order to understand the methodology behind this
rather unusual pairing of sweet fruit and seasoned meat. According to his studies, in order to be able to cure illnesses it was necessary to restore the body’s balance through feeding. That’s why cuisine became a combinational art form and this creative pairing became
so famous throughout the centuries.

WHAT’S BETTER THAN A REFRESHING AND MAYBE EVEN A LITTLE AROMATIC EVENING APERITIVO AFTER A HOT DAY IN THE WORKPLACE?

If you’re looking to cool down with a cocktail, here’s an Italian classic that’s absolutely perfect for the summer – the Spritz Hugo or Hugò!

The Hugò is a true blast of freshness – an elderflower themed cocktail that’s perfect for the aperitivo hours or after dinner. It has a very low alcohol content and can be considered as an alternative option to the more common Spritz. It’s a very refreshing and energising drink, the perfect pairing with a freshly made melon & prosciutto roll and above all, nice
and easy to prepare. Born high in the the Dolomites in South Tyrol, thanks to Roland Gruber who had the brilliant idea of flavoring the classic goblet of Prosecco with mint and elderflower syrup, the result is a sublime cocktail with a subtle, aromatic floral flavour.

METHOD

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium to high heat.
2. Add flour, then whisk in the milk.
3. Bring to boil whilst stirring constantly.
4. Add the Parmigiano Reggiano DOP and stir until it has melted.
5. Season with salt.
6. Cut and deseed the cantaloupe, then peel and cut the flesh into 40 bite-sized
pieces.
7. Wrap a prosciutto slice around each cantaloupe chunk.
8. Fill the bottom of the plate with Parmigiano Reggiano sauce, then add the melon &
prosciutto rolls and garnish with a few traditional balsamic vinegar drops.

1. Place the ice cubes in a large wine glass.
2. Gently muddle the mint and add the juice from one lemon wedge.
3. Add 1 part elderflower concentrate followed up to 3 parts Prosecco.
4. Stir and add a splash of selz


Italian Aperitivo: A Chic Ritual Before Dinner

Italy is full of rituals, little everyday moments that immediately make you feel happier. The aperitivo is certainly one of those, a way to end the day in a relaxed mood after many long and labourious hours of work.

The aperitivo has ancient origins and was born in Turin more than 200 years ago in 1786 when Mr. Antonio Benedetto Carpano started producing an aromatised wine with an infusion of herbs and spices in his little shop. The aperitivo was actually unconsciously consumed by the Romans who drank ‘mulsum’, a drink consisting of wine and honey, which was used to stimulate the appetite (in Latin “aperitivus” – that opens).

The aperitivo (or happy hour) nowadays is an increasingly popular, worldwide ritual where more and more people choose to prepare it in the comforts of their own homes to enjoy a moment of conviviality with their closest friends whilst indulging in their favourite wines, cocktails and home-made appetizers.

All of us can become a master of aperitivos if you know how to do it properly. Today we reveal to you all the secrets which are guaranteed to impress your guests by simply flaunting just a little bit of true Italian flair.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
It seems obvious but you always have to offer the highest quality of food and beverage items to your guests for an aperitivo. All of your finger foods have to be simple, appealing to the eye and made only with fresh and high quality ingredients. Check in your closest markets and delis for the most seasonal and locally sourced top quality products.
SERVE TO IMPRESS
You don’t want to be serving the usual boring drinks do you? Ask Google or your most trusted barman for some advice to impress your guests in this department to suit your favoured palate. Every dish and drink must have a little garnish to add character, maybe add some small decorations like a few blueberries to the cocktail and try to use traditional style crockery to make your dishes appear more authentic. And each dish has to be Instagram-appropriate, of course!
MISE EN PLACE LIKE A PRO
Don’t just think about what you are going to prepare but also about how you are going to present it. By having a rustic style tablecloth, a traditional looking set of dishes and using some fun accessories which will enchant your guests, even the simplest recipe will appear to be created by a star chef. Seeing is believing!
MAGICAL SUNLIGHT
Summer aperitivos are obviously held outdoors so you can enjoy the golden hour with your friends whilst the sun sets, cocktails in hand, in the welcoming, homely atmosphere of your garden or terrace. Don’t have a garden? Not to worry, try a chic-nic on the beach or at your local park for the ultimate outdoor aperitivo experience.

These are the main key pointers for the perfect homemade aperitivo, now you only need to
invite your friends or sweetheart and voilà! If you’re still not sure that you can become
the ultimate master of aperitivos, here’s two incredibly simple but mouthwateringly delicious recipes for you to try out!

MELON & PROSCIUTTO: A CLASSIC ITALIAN FINGER FOOD, A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

Melon & prosciutto is the perfect combination of freshness and simplicity, a real Italian summer signature dish. The delicate taste and balance between the juicy cantaloupe sweetness and the saltiness of the prosciutto is quite simply an utter delight. It’s a historic Italian recipe with origins dating all the way back to the ancient times of the second century AD. We have to go back to Galen, the most famous doctor in the Roman Empire, to explore his theory of the four humours in order to understand the methodology behind this
rather unusual pairing of sweet fruit and seasoned meat. According to his studies, in order to be able to cure illnesses it was necessary to restore the body’s balance through feeding. That’s why cuisine became a combinational art form and this creative pairing became
so famous throughout the centuries.

WHAT’S BETTER THAN A REFRESHING AND MAYBE EVEN A LITTLE AROMATIC EVENING APERITIVO AFTER A HOT DAY IN THE WORKPLACE?

If you’re looking to cool down with a cocktail, here’s an Italian classic that’s absolutely perfect for the summer – the Spritz Hugo or Hugò!

The Hugò is a true blast of freshness – an elderflower themed cocktail that’s perfect for the aperitivo hours or after dinner. It has a very low alcohol content and can be considered as an alternative option to the more common Spritz. It’s a very refreshing and energising drink, the perfect pairing with a freshly made melon & prosciutto roll and above all, nice
and easy to prepare. Born high in the the Dolomites in South Tyrol, thanks to Roland Gruber who had the brilliant idea of flavoring the classic goblet of Prosecco with mint and elderflower syrup, the result is a sublime cocktail with a subtle, aromatic floral flavour.

METHOD

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium to high heat.
2. Add flour, then whisk in the milk.
3. Bring to boil whilst stirring constantly.
4. Add the Parmigiano Reggiano DOP and stir until it has melted.
5. Season with salt.
6. Cut and deseed the cantaloupe, then peel and cut the flesh into 40 bite-sized
pieces.
7. Wrap a prosciutto slice around each cantaloupe chunk.
8. Fill the bottom of the plate with Parmigiano Reggiano sauce, then add the melon &
prosciutto rolls and garnish with a few traditional balsamic vinegar drops.

1. Place the ice cubes in a large wine glass.
2. Gently muddle the mint and add the juice from one lemon wedge.
3. Add 1 part elderflower concentrate followed up to 3 parts Prosecco.
4. Stir and add a splash of selz


Italian Aperitivo: A Chic Ritual Before Dinner

Italy is full of rituals, little everyday moments that immediately make you feel happier. The aperitivo is certainly one of those, a way to end the day in a relaxed mood after many long and labourious hours of work.

The aperitivo has ancient origins and was born in Turin more than 200 years ago in 1786 when Mr. Antonio Benedetto Carpano started producing an aromatised wine with an infusion of herbs and spices in his little shop. The aperitivo was actually unconsciously consumed by the Romans who drank ‘mulsum’, a drink consisting of wine and honey, which was used to stimulate the appetite (in Latin “aperitivus” – that opens).

The aperitivo (or happy hour) nowadays is an increasingly popular, worldwide ritual where more and more people choose to prepare it in the comforts of their own homes to enjoy a moment of conviviality with their closest friends whilst indulging in their favourite wines, cocktails and home-made appetizers.

All of us can become a master of aperitivos if you know how to do it properly. Today we reveal to you all the secrets which are guaranteed to impress your guests by simply flaunting just a little bit of true Italian flair.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
It seems obvious but you always have to offer the highest quality of food and beverage items to your guests for an aperitivo. All of your finger foods have to be simple, appealing to the eye and made only with fresh and high quality ingredients. Check in your closest markets and delis for the most seasonal and locally sourced top quality products.
SERVE TO IMPRESS
You don’t want to be serving the usual boring drinks do you? Ask Google or your most trusted barman for some advice to impress your guests in this department to suit your favoured palate. Every dish and drink must have a little garnish to add character, maybe add some small decorations like a few blueberries to the cocktail and try to use traditional style crockery to make your dishes appear more authentic. And each dish has to be Instagram-appropriate, of course!
MISE EN PLACE LIKE A PRO
Don’t just think about what you are going to prepare but also about how you are going to present it. By having a rustic style tablecloth, a traditional looking set of dishes and using some fun accessories which will enchant your guests, even the simplest recipe will appear to be created by a star chef. Seeing is believing!
MAGICAL SUNLIGHT
Summer aperitivos are obviously held outdoors so you can enjoy the golden hour with your friends whilst the sun sets, cocktails in hand, in the welcoming, homely atmosphere of your garden or terrace. Don’t have a garden? Not to worry, try a chic-nic on the beach or at your local park for the ultimate outdoor aperitivo experience.

These are the main key pointers for the perfect homemade aperitivo, now you only need to
invite your friends or sweetheart and voilà! If you’re still not sure that you can become
the ultimate master of aperitivos, here’s two incredibly simple but mouthwateringly delicious recipes for you to try out!

MELON & PROSCIUTTO: A CLASSIC ITALIAN FINGER FOOD, A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

Melon & prosciutto is the perfect combination of freshness and simplicity, a real Italian summer signature dish. The delicate taste and balance between the juicy cantaloupe sweetness and the saltiness of the prosciutto is quite simply an utter delight. It’s a historic Italian recipe with origins dating all the way back to the ancient times of the second century AD. We have to go back to Galen, the most famous doctor in the Roman Empire, to explore his theory of the four humours in order to understand the methodology behind this
rather unusual pairing of sweet fruit and seasoned meat. According to his studies, in order to be able to cure illnesses it was necessary to restore the body’s balance through feeding. That’s why cuisine became a combinational art form and this creative pairing became
so famous throughout the centuries.

WHAT’S BETTER THAN A REFRESHING AND MAYBE EVEN A LITTLE AROMATIC EVENING APERITIVO AFTER A HOT DAY IN THE WORKPLACE?

If you’re looking to cool down with a cocktail, here’s an Italian classic that’s absolutely perfect for the summer – the Spritz Hugo or Hugò!

The Hugò is a true blast of freshness – an elderflower themed cocktail that’s perfect for the aperitivo hours or after dinner. It has a very low alcohol content and can be considered as an alternative option to the more common Spritz. It’s a very refreshing and energising drink, the perfect pairing with a freshly made melon & prosciutto roll and above all, nice
and easy to prepare. Born high in the the Dolomites in South Tyrol, thanks to Roland Gruber who had the brilliant idea of flavoring the classic goblet of Prosecco with mint and elderflower syrup, the result is a sublime cocktail with a subtle, aromatic floral flavour.

METHOD

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium to high heat.
2. Add flour, then whisk in the milk.
3. Bring to boil whilst stirring constantly.
4. Add the Parmigiano Reggiano DOP and stir until it has melted.
5. Season with salt.
6. Cut and deseed the cantaloupe, then peel and cut the flesh into 40 bite-sized
pieces.
7. Wrap a prosciutto slice around each cantaloupe chunk.
8. Fill the bottom of the plate with Parmigiano Reggiano sauce, then add the melon &
prosciutto rolls and garnish with a few traditional balsamic vinegar drops.

1. Place the ice cubes in a large wine glass.
2. Gently muddle the mint and add the juice from one lemon wedge.
3. Add 1 part elderflower concentrate followed up to 3 parts Prosecco.
4. Stir and add a splash of selz


Italian Aperitivo: A Chic Ritual Before Dinner

Italy is full of rituals, little everyday moments that immediately make you feel happier. The aperitivo is certainly one of those, a way to end the day in a relaxed mood after many long and labourious hours of work.

The aperitivo has ancient origins and was born in Turin more than 200 years ago in 1786 when Mr. Antonio Benedetto Carpano started producing an aromatised wine with an infusion of herbs and spices in his little shop. The aperitivo was actually unconsciously consumed by the Romans who drank ‘mulsum’, a drink consisting of wine and honey, which was used to stimulate the appetite (in Latin “aperitivus” – that opens).

The aperitivo (or happy hour) nowadays is an increasingly popular, worldwide ritual where more and more people choose to prepare it in the comforts of their own homes to enjoy a moment of conviviality with their closest friends whilst indulging in their favourite wines, cocktails and home-made appetizers.

All of us can become a master of aperitivos if you know how to do it properly. Today we reveal to you all the secrets which are guaranteed to impress your guests by simply flaunting just a little bit of true Italian flair.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
It seems obvious but you always have to offer the highest quality of food and beverage items to your guests for an aperitivo. All of your finger foods have to be simple, appealing to the eye and made only with fresh and high quality ingredients. Check in your closest markets and delis for the most seasonal and locally sourced top quality products.
SERVE TO IMPRESS
You don’t want to be serving the usual boring drinks do you? Ask Google or your most trusted barman for some advice to impress your guests in this department to suit your favoured palate. Every dish and drink must have a little garnish to add character, maybe add some small decorations like a few blueberries to the cocktail and try to use traditional style crockery to make your dishes appear more authentic. And each dish has to be Instagram-appropriate, of course!
MISE EN PLACE LIKE A PRO
Don’t just think about what you are going to prepare but also about how you are going to present it. By having a rustic style tablecloth, a traditional looking set of dishes and using some fun accessories which will enchant your guests, even the simplest recipe will appear to be created by a star chef. Seeing is believing!
MAGICAL SUNLIGHT
Summer aperitivos are obviously held outdoors so you can enjoy the golden hour with your friends whilst the sun sets, cocktails in hand, in the welcoming, homely atmosphere of your garden or terrace. Don’t have a garden? Not to worry, try a chic-nic on the beach or at your local park for the ultimate outdoor aperitivo experience.

These are the main key pointers for the perfect homemade aperitivo, now you only need to
invite your friends or sweetheart and voilà! If you’re still not sure that you can become
the ultimate master of aperitivos, here’s two incredibly simple but mouthwateringly delicious recipes for you to try out!

MELON & PROSCIUTTO: A CLASSIC ITALIAN FINGER FOOD, A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

Melon & prosciutto is the perfect combination of freshness and simplicity, a real Italian summer signature dish. The delicate taste and balance between the juicy cantaloupe sweetness and the saltiness of the prosciutto is quite simply an utter delight. It’s a historic Italian recipe with origins dating all the way back to the ancient times of the second century AD. We have to go back to Galen, the most famous doctor in the Roman Empire, to explore his theory of the four humours in order to understand the methodology behind this
rather unusual pairing of sweet fruit and seasoned meat. According to his studies, in order to be able to cure illnesses it was necessary to restore the body’s balance through feeding. That’s why cuisine became a combinational art form and this creative pairing became
so famous throughout the centuries.

WHAT’S BETTER THAN A REFRESHING AND MAYBE EVEN A LITTLE AROMATIC EVENING APERITIVO AFTER A HOT DAY IN THE WORKPLACE?

If you’re looking to cool down with a cocktail, here’s an Italian classic that’s absolutely perfect for the summer – the Spritz Hugo or Hugò!

The Hugò is a true blast of freshness – an elderflower themed cocktail that’s perfect for the aperitivo hours or after dinner. It has a very low alcohol content and can be considered as an alternative option to the more common Spritz. It’s a very refreshing and energising drink, the perfect pairing with a freshly made melon & prosciutto roll and above all, nice
and easy to prepare. Born high in the the Dolomites in South Tyrol, thanks to Roland Gruber who had the brilliant idea of flavoring the classic goblet of Prosecco with mint and elderflower syrup, the result is a sublime cocktail with a subtle, aromatic floral flavour.

METHOD

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium to high heat.
2. Add flour, then whisk in the milk.
3. Bring to boil whilst stirring constantly.
4. Add the Parmigiano Reggiano DOP and stir until it has melted.
5. Season with salt.
6. Cut and deseed the cantaloupe, then peel and cut the flesh into 40 bite-sized
pieces.
7. Wrap a prosciutto slice around each cantaloupe chunk.
8. Fill the bottom of the plate with Parmigiano Reggiano sauce, then add the melon &
prosciutto rolls and garnish with a few traditional balsamic vinegar drops.

1. Place the ice cubes in a large wine glass.
2. Gently muddle the mint and add the juice from one lemon wedge.
3. Add 1 part elderflower concentrate followed up to 3 parts Prosecco.
4. Stir and add a splash of selz


Italian Aperitivo: A Chic Ritual Before Dinner

Italy is full of rituals, little everyday moments that immediately make you feel happier. The aperitivo is certainly one of those, a way to end the day in a relaxed mood after many long and labourious hours of work.

The aperitivo has ancient origins and was born in Turin more than 200 years ago in 1786 when Mr. Antonio Benedetto Carpano started producing an aromatised wine with an infusion of herbs and spices in his little shop. The aperitivo was actually unconsciously consumed by the Romans who drank ‘mulsum’, a drink consisting of wine and honey, which was used to stimulate the appetite (in Latin “aperitivus” – that opens).

The aperitivo (or happy hour) nowadays is an increasingly popular, worldwide ritual where more and more people choose to prepare it in the comforts of their own homes to enjoy a moment of conviviality with their closest friends whilst indulging in their favourite wines, cocktails and home-made appetizers.

All of us can become a master of aperitivos if you know how to do it properly. Today we reveal to you all the secrets which are guaranteed to impress your guests by simply flaunting just a little bit of true Italian flair.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
It seems obvious but you always have to offer the highest quality of food and beverage items to your guests for an aperitivo. All of your finger foods have to be simple, appealing to the eye and made only with fresh and high quality ingredients. Check in your closest markets and delis for the most seasonal and locally sourced top quality products.
SERVE TO IMPRESS
You don’t want to be serving the usual boring drinks do you? Ask Google or your most trusted barman for some advice to impress your guests in this department to suit your favoured palate. Every dish and drink must have a little garnish to add character, maybe add some small decorations like a few blueberries to the cocktail and try to use traditional style crockery to make your dishes appear more authentic. And each dish has to be Instagram-appropriate, of course!
MISE EN PLACE LIKE A PRO
Don’t just think about what you are going to prepare but also about how you are going to present it. By having a rustic style tablecloth, a traditional looking set of dishes and using some fun accessories which will enchant your guests, even the simplest recipe will appear to be created by a star chef. Seeing is believing!
MAGICAL SUNLIGHT
Summer aperitivos are obviously held outdoors so you can enjoy the golden hour with your friends whilst the sun sets, cocktails in hand, in the welcoming, homely atmosphere of your garden or terrace. Don’t have a garden? Not to worry, try a chic-nic on the beach or at your local park for the ultimate outdoor aperitivo experience.

These are the main key pointers for the perfect homemade aperitivo, now you only need to
invite your friends or sweetheart and voilà! If you’re still not sure that you can become
the ultimate master of aperitivos, here’s two incredibly simple but mouthwateringly delicious recipes for you to try out!

MELON & PROSCIUTTO: A CLASSIC ITALIAN FINGER FOOD, A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

Melon & prosciutto is the perfect combination of freshness and simplicity, a real Italian summer signature dish. The delicate taste and balance between the juicy cantaloupe sweetness and the saltiness of the prosciutto is quite simply an utter delight. It’s a historic Italian recipe with origins dating all the way back to the ancient times of the second century AD. We have to go back to Galen, the most famous doctor in the Roman Empire, to explore his theory of the four humours in order to understand the methodology behind this
rather unusual pairing of sweet fruit and seasoned meat. According to his studies, in order to be able to cure illnesses it was necessary to restore the body’s balance through feeding. That’s why cuisine became a combinational art form and this creative pairing became
so famous throughout the centuries.

WHAT’S BETTER THAN A REFRESHING AND MAYBE EVEN A LITTLE AROMATIC EVENING APERITIVO AFTER A HOT DAY IN THE WORKPLACE?

If you’re looking to cool down with a cocktail, here’s an Italian classic that’s absolutely perfect for the summer – the Spritz Hugo or Hugò!

The Hugò is a true blast of freshness – an elderflower themed cocktail that’s perfect for the aperitivo hours or after dinner. It has a very low alcohol content and can be considered as an alternative option to the more common Spritz. It’s a very refreshing and energising drink, the perfect pairing with a freshly made melon & prosciutto roll and above all, nice
and easy to prepare. Born high in the the Dolomites in South Tyrol, thanks to Roland Gruber who had the brilliant idea of flavoring the classic goblet of Prosecco with mint and elderflower syrup, the result is a sublime cocktail with a subtle, aromatic floral flavour.

METHOD

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium to high heat.
2. Add flour, then whisk in the milk.
3. Bring to boil whilst stirring constantly.
4. Add the Parmigiano Reggiano DOP and stir until it has melted.
5. Season with salt.
6. Cut and deseed the cantaloupe, then peel and cut the flesh into 40 bite-sized
pieces.
7. Wrap a prosciutto slice around each cantaloupe chunk.
8. Fill the bottom of the plate with Parmigiano Reggiano sauce, then add the melon &
prosciutto rolls and garnish with a few traditional balsamic vinegar drops.

1. Place the ice cubes in a large wine glass.
2. Gently muddle the mint and add the juice from one lemon wedge.
3. Add 1 part elderflower concentrate followed up to 3 parts Prosecco.
4. Stir and add a splash of selz


Italian Aperitivo: A Chic Ritual Before Dinner

Italy is full of rituals, little everyday moments that immediately make you feel happier. The aperitivo is certainly one of those, a way to end the day in a relaxed mood after many long and labourious hours of work.

The aperitivo has ancient origins and was born in Turin more than 200 years ago in 1786 when Mr. Antonio Benedetto Carpano started producing an aromatised wine with an infusion of herbs and spices in his little shop. The aperitivo was actually unconsciously consumed by the Romans who drank ‘mulsum’, a drink consisting of wine and honey, which was used to stimulate the appetite (in Latin “aperitivus” – that opens).

The aperitivo (or happy hour) nowadays is an increasingly popular, worldwide ritual where more and more people choose to prepare it in the comforts of their own homes to enjoy a moment of conviviality with their closest friends whilst indulging in their favourite wines, cocktails and home-made appetizers.

All of us can become a master of aperitivos if you know how to do it properly. Today we reveal to you all the secrets which are guaranteed to impress your guests by simply flaunting just a little bit of true Italian flair.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
It seems obvious but you always have to offer the highest quality of food and beverage items to your guests for an aperitivo. All of your finger foods have to be simple, appealing to the eye and made only with fresh and high quality ingredients. Check in your closest markets and delis for the most seasonal and locally sourced top quality products.
SERVE TO IMPRESS
You don’t want to be serving the usual boring drinks do you? Ask Google or your most trusted barman for some advice to impress your guests in this department to suit your favoured palate. Every dish and drink must have a little garnish to add character, maybe add some small decorations like a few blueberries to the cocktail and try to use traditional style crockery to make your dishes appear more authentic. And each dish has to be Instagram-appropriate, of course!
MISE EN PLACE LIKE A PRO
Don’t just think about what you are going to prepare but also about how you are going to present it. By having a rustic style tablecloth, a traditional looking set of dishes and using some fun accessories which will enchant your guests, even the simplest recipe will appear to be created by a star chef. Seeing is believing!
MAGICAL SUNLIGHT
Summer aperitivos are obviously held outdoors so you can enjoy the golden hour with your friends whilst the sun sets, cocktails in hand, in the welcoming, homely atmosphere of your garden or terrace. Don’t have a garden? Not to worry, try a chic-nic on the beach or at your local park for the ultimate outdoor aperitivo experience.

These are the main key pointers for the perfect homemade aperitivo, now you only need to
invite your friends or sweetheart and voilà! If you’re still not sure that you can become
the ultimate master of aperitivos, here’s two incredibly simple but mouthwateringly delicious recipes for you to try out!

MELON & PROSCIUTTO: A CLASSIC ITALIAN FINGER FOOD, A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

Melon & prosciutto is the perfect combination of freshness and simplicity, a real Italian summer signature dish. The delicate taste and balance between the juicy cantaloupe sweetness and the saltiness of the prosciutto is quite simply an utter delight. It’s a historic Italian recipe with origins dating all the way back to the ancient times of the second century AD. We have to go back to Galen, the most famous doctor in the Roman Empire, to explore his theory of the four humours in order to understand the methodology behind this
rather unusual pairing of sweet fruit and seasoned meat. According to his studies, in order to be able to cure illnesses it was necessary to restore the body’s balance through feeding. That’s why cuisine became a combinational art form and this creative pairing became
so famous throughout the centuries.

WHAT’S BETTER THAN A REFRESHING AND MAYBE EVEN A LITTLE AROMATIC EVENING APERITIVO AFTER A HOT DAY IN THE WORKPLACE?

If you’re looking to cool down with a cocktail, here’s an Italian classic that’s absolutely perfect for the summer – the Spritz Hugo or Hugò!

The Hugò is a true blast of freshness – an elderflower themed cocktail that’s perfect for the aperitivo hours or after dinner. It has a very low alcohol content and can be considered as an alternative option to the more common Spritz. It’s a very refreshing and energising drink, the perfect pairing with a freshly made melon & prosciutto roll and above all, nice
and easy to prepare. Born high in the the Dolomites in South Tyrol, thanks to Roland Gruber who had the brilliant idea of flavoring the classic goblet of Prosecco with mint and elderflower syrup, the result is a sublime cocktail with a subtle, aromatic floral flavour.

METHOD

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium to high heat.
2. Add flour, then whisk in the milk.
3. Bring to boil whilst stirring constantly.
4. Add the Parmigiano Reggiano DOP and stir until it has melted.
5. Season with salt.
6. Cut and deseed the cantaloupe, then peel and cut the flesh into 40 bite-sized
pieces.
7. Wrap a prosciutto slice around each cantaloupe chunk.
8. Fill the bottom of the plate with Parmigiano Reggiano sauce, then add the melon &
prosciutto rolls and garnish with a few traditional balsamic vinegar drops.

1. Place the ice cubes in a large wine glass.
2. Gently muddle the mint and add the juice from one lemon wedge.
3. Add 1 part elderflower concentrate followed up to 3 parts Prosecco.
4. Stir and add a splash of selz


Italian Aperitivo: A Chic Ritual Before Dinner

Italy is full of rituals, little everyday moments that immediately make you feel happier. The aperitivo is certainly one of those, a way to end the day in a relaxed mood after many long and labourious hours of work.

The aperitivo has ancient origins and was born in Turin more than 200 years ago in 1786 when Mr. Antonio Benedetto Carpano started producing an aromatised wine with an infusion of herbs and spices in his little shop. The aperitivo was actually unconsciously consumed by the Romans who drank ‘mulsum’, a drink consisting of wine and honey, which was used to stimulate the appetite (in Latin “aperitivus” – that opens).

The aperitivo (or happy hour) nowadays is an increasingly popular, worldwide ritual where more and more people choose to prepare it in the comforts of their own homes to enjoy a moment of conviviality with their closest friends whilst indulging in their favourite wines, cocktails and home-made appetizers.

All of us can become a master of aperitivos if you know how to do it properly. Today we reveal to you all the secrets which are guaranteed to impress your guests by simply flaunting just a little bit of true Italian flair.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
It seems obvious but you always have to offer the highest quality of food and beverage items to your guests for an aperitivo. All of your finger foods have to be simple, appealing to the eye and made only with fresh and high quality ingredients. Check in your closest markets and delis for the most seasonal and locally sourced top quality products.
SERVE TO IMPRESS
You don’t want to be serving the usual boring drinks do you? Ask Google or your most trusted barman for some advice to impress your guests in this department to suit your favoured palate. Every dish and drink must have a little garnish to add character, maybe add some small decorations like a few blueberries to the cocktail and try to use traditional style crockery to make your dishes appear more authentic. And each dish has to be Instagram-appropriate, of course!
MISE EN PLACE LIKE A PRO
Don’t just think about what you are going to prepare but also about how you are going to present it. By having a rustic style tablecloth, a traditional looking set of dishes and using some fun accessories which will enchant your guests, even the simplest recipe will appear to be created by a star chef. Seeing is believing!
MAGICAL SUNLIGHT
Summer aperitivos are obviously held outdoors so you can enjoy the golden hour with your friends whilst the sun sets, cocktails in hand, in the welcoming, homely atmosphere of your garden or terrace. Don’t have a garden? Not to worry, try a chic-nic on the beach or at your local park for the ultimate outdoor aperitivo experience.

These are the main key pointers for the perfect homemade aperitivo, now you only need to
invite your friends or sweetheart and voilà! If you’re still not sure that you can become
the ultimate master of aperitivos, here’s two incredibly simple but mouthwateringly delicious recipes for you to try out!

MELON & PROSCIUTTO: A CLASSIC ITALIAN FINGER FOOD, A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

Melon & prosciutto is the perfect combination of freshness and simplicity, a real Italian summer signature dish. The delicate taste and balance between the juicy cantaloupe sweetness and the saltiness of the prosciutto is quite simply an utter delight. It’s a historic Italian recipe with origins dating all the way back to the ancient times of the second century AD. We have to go back to Galen, the most famous doctor in the Roman Empire, to explore his theory of the four humours in order to understand the methodology behind this
rather unusual pairing of sweet fruit and seasoned meat. According to his studies, in order to be able to cure illnesses it was necessary to restore the body’s balance through feeding. That’s why cuisine became a combinational art form and this creative pairing became
so famous throughout the centuries.

WHAT’S BETTER THAN A REFRESHING AND MAYBE EVEN A LITTLE AROMATIC EVENING APERITIVO AFTER A HOT DAY IN THE WORKPLACE?

If you’re looking to cool down with a cocktail, here’s an Italian classic that’s absolutely perfect for the summer – the Spritz Hugo or Hugò!

The Hugò is a true blast of freshness – an elderflower themed cocktail that’s perfect for the aperitivo hours or after dinner. It has a very low alcohol content and can be considered as an alternative option to the more common Spritz. It’s a very refreshing and energising drink, the perfect pairing with a freshly made melon & prosciutto roll and above all, nice
and easy to prepare. Born high in the the Dolomites in South Tyrol, thanks to Roland Gruber who had the brilliant idea of flavoring the classic goblet of Prosecco with mint and elderflower syrup, the result is a sublime cocktail with a subtle, aromatic floral flavour.

METHOD

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium to high heat.
2. Add flour, then whisk in the milk.
3. Bring to boil whilst stirring constantly.
4. Add the Parmigiano Reggiano DOP and stir until it has melted.
5. Season with salt.
6. Cut and deseed the cantaloupe, then peel and cut the flesh into 40 bite-sized
pieces.
7. Wrap a prosciutto slice around each cantaloupe chunk.
8. Fill the bottom of the plate with Parmigiano Reggiano sauce, then add the melon &
prosciutto rolls and garnish with a few traditional balsamic vinegar drops.

1. Place the ice cubes in a large wine glass.
2. Gently muddle the mint and add the juice from one lemon wedge.
3. Add 1 part elderflower concentrate followed up to 3 parts Prosecco.
4. Stir and add a splash of selz


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