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Best Italian Aperitivo Cocktails

ITALIAN APERITIVO COCKTAILS
Campari, Cynar, Aperol

In Italy, people often have wines with dinner and cocktails when partying. There are a few cocktails that are a must try during your time in Italy that perfectly accompany an Italian aperitivo. While many are served with nuts, olives, chips, and maybe some meats and cheeses, they can also accompany a buffet style aperitivo that some tourists use as a replacement for dinner. Regardless of how you are treating your aperitivo time, these are the best Italian classic cocktails to accompany you.

SPRITZ

4cl of Aperol
6cl of Prosecco
Splash of soda

This is maybe the most popular drink to accompany an aperitivo. It originated during an Austrian takeover in the Veneto/Lombardy regions. The Austrian soldiers, who were used to drinking only beer, considered that the Italian wines too strong and would dilute them with sparkling water. The name “Spritz,” comes from the German word for spray, “spritzen.” Many regions afterward created their own version of the spritz but around the 20’s, the Aperol Spritz was born. Today it consists of a mixture of prosecco, aperol or campari, and club soda. When ordering one, the waiter/waitress, or bartender will typically ask if you prefer aperol or campari depending on how bitter you’d like it. It’s an absolute must-try with one of your aperitivi here in Italy.

Aperol Spritz italian aperitif

BELLINI

10cl of Prosecco
5cl of white peach pulp

This cocktail was born in 1948 at Harry’s Bar located in Venice. The main barman was Giuseppe Cipriani. He is famous for the creation of this cocktail as well as for opening bars all over the world before re-settling in Italy in Venice. He named the cocktail after Giovanni Bellini, a famous Venetian painter. The soft pink color reminded Cipriani of the toga of a saint in the painting Il Giambellino. This cocktail was a favorite of the famous writer Ernest Hemingway, who was a regular in Cipriani’s bar near Piazza San Marco.

Bellini Italian Aperitif
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AMERICANO / MILANO TORINO

3cl of Bitter Campari
3cl of Red Vermouth

Made with all Italian ingredients, this drink was originally called the Milano Torino after the two main working cities of Italy. Additionally, Bitter Campari, used to make this cocktail, was invented in Turin. The first mention of this cocktail goes as far back as 1830! However, the original recipe is a secret among the family, handed down from generation to generation to a select few. It was named “L’Americano” after an Italian boxer, Primo Carnera, who achieved shocking success in a fight in New York City. This was no small feat and in fact seemingly impossible for an Italian in America during that time. This cocktail was the original celebration of his success.

Americano Milano-Torino italian Aperitif

NEGRONI

Gin 3cl
3cl of Bitter Campari
3cl of Red Vermouth

After the birth of the Americano came the Negroni. It is named after its creator, Count Camillo Negroni. After returning from a trip in England, the Count became addicted to gin. Since the Americano was a very popular cocktail at the time, he went into Caffè Casoni, in Florence, and ordered an Americano. However, he requested the addition of gin. Afterward, the trend caught on and many tourists and aristocrats alike began ordering this Americano with added gin.

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