In Good Spirits
Cocktails For Aperitivo Hour
Bring aperitivo hour at home with these riffs on Italian cocktails.
Editor’s Note: This story is published in The Florence Issue of Life & Thyme Post, our exclusive newspaper for Life & Thyme members. Get your copy.
The true roots of the Italian aperitivo are questionable. Some credit the ancient Roman tradition of gustatio, a first course meant to stimulate the appetite. Eighteenth-century Turin holds another clue, however, with Antonio Benedetto Carpano creating one of the first vermouths. Then the 19th century brought forth the creation of Campari by Gaspare Campari, as well as Martini & Rossi’s Rosso.
What is not disputed, however, is the quintessential European nature of aperitivo hour. In countries where dinner isn’t served until eight or nine p.m., a late afternoon nibble is almost entirely necessary to stave off hunger until the main course.
In recent years, the United States has seen a rise in the aperitivo craze. Aperol spritzes have been coined the drink of summer, and bars are popping up everywhere with their own interpretations of aperitivo. Even our founder, Antonio, seems to enjoy aperitivo hour at all hours of the day. Here are a few of his favorite reinterpretations of aperitivo cocktails perfect for that sunset hour with an American twist.
1 oz. Faccia Brutto Aperitivo
1 oz. Antica Formula Carpano Vermouth
1 oz. Mezcal (Espadin)
Garnish: orange twist
Add Faccia Brutto, vermouth, and mezcal to a mixing glass filled with ice cubes. Stir for 20 seconds. Strain onto a large ice cube in a rocks glass. Express oils from the orange twist and garnish.
1.5 oz. Amaro Montenegro
1.5 oz. Mezcal (Espadin)
Garnish: orange half-wheel
Add Montenegro and mezcal to a rocks glass with a large ice cube. Stir to mix. Garnish with an orange slice.
3 oz. Prosecco
1 1⁄2 oz. Amaro Angeleno
1⁄2 oz. Lo-Fi Aperitifs Sweet Vermouth
1 oz. LaCroix Pamplemousse
Garnish: grapefruit (or blood orange) half- wheel
Add amaro and sweet vermouth to a wine glass filled with ice. Add prosecco and top with LaCroix. Stir gently. Garnish with grape- fruit or blood orange.