There’s a reason Americans have a fluttery weak spot for all things Italian — Our well-shod, chic crushes always seem to get it right. From fashion to elegance, design to casual coolness, the American love affair with Italy is well deserved and refreshingly neverending. The latest trend of Italian emulation is the rise of the aperitivo — a nosh of this and a drop of that all served up in fancy glassware.
Roughly translated as “opener” or “to open” it refers to sipping on a drink as an appetizer or a pre-dinner ritual. Add in some snacks (everyone loves a snack), and wah-lah. Rather than ponying up for the standard happy hour with deep fried cheese sticks and two-for-one-doubles, Americans are foregoing the heavy booze and snacks for the lighter and more healthy aperitivo.
Millennials are especially on board with that light booze life. Gone are the days of embarrassingly whispering to the bartender that you’ll have the Rosa-Rita Mocktail, please. Now, booze free and low-ABV aperitifs are the it beverages of the summer.
Back in its homeland, the aperitivo is traditionally served an hour or so before Nonna slides the first dinner course onto the table. Someone pours the group a spritz or pops open a bottle of prosecco while the ubiquitous small bowls of salty snacks hit the table. Think: potato chips, olives, and likely some nuts.
Here in America we’re taking the long held Italian tradition and putting our red, white, and blue twist on it. Cue up the band and hold onto your happy hour hats, here are a few things you’ll want to consider serving up at your next aperitivo gathering.
The Rise of the Aperitivo: Taking A Page from the Italian Playbook
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