The Italians get it right with this pre-dinner drinks ritual.
May 30, 2023 4:30am
When it comes to happy hour, the drinks should be light, refreshing, and ideally Italian. Or at least that’s the case for aperitivo, the languorous evening social ritual deeply embedded in Italian culture.
“Provide guests with a truly stylish and superior drinking experience, right down to the smallest details. Because it’s not just about what you serve, but how you serve it,” says Simone Caporale, bartender and Peroni Nastro Azzurro global brand ambassador.
Born in Como, Italy, Caporale believes that every detail should be considered to impress your guests when hosting a Mediterranean-style happy hour — especially the drinks.
The art of aperitivo varies from region to region in terms of drinks and style. Venice invented the sparkling Bellini cocktail, a zesty Limoncello reigns supreme in Positano, and a lager is the drink of choice when you need something light and refreshing.
The drink you serve matters as it signifies the end of a long working day, ushering in a new sense of calm and relaxation — best enjoyed at sunset when the world gets a little bit more still.
Aperitivo hour is all about finding pleasure in the little details, slowing down and socialising with family and friends. Let your guests know before they arrive that you’ll be leaning into this languorous mood.
Decorate with a simple tablecloth, set the scene with a great playlist, and serve drinks in quality glasses for a touch of luxury and to bring Italian style and flair to everyday moments.
Whether your visitors prefer to drink straight from the bottle or pour a brew into a glass, you should ensure everything from the bottle opener to the glassware is elegant and refined. In other words, Caporale says to be prepared and adopt “Sprezzatura style, which means to make everything look effortless.”
Embodying the ‘la dolce vita’ spirit
From larger-than-life Rome to upscale island Capri, the la dolce vita lifestyle can be seen and felt in every city and port town across the idyllic Mediterranean country. Meaning ‘the sweet life’ in Italian, the phrase reflects the spirit of summer — the inspiration behind the lively flavour of Peroni Nastro Azzurro.
This philosophy seeps into everyday life in Italy. Where Florence invites you to slow down and appreciate the abundance of art in the city, Milan beckons you to enjoy the finer things in life like fine fabrics and beautiful style.
Bring this lifestyle into your at-home drinks by setting up comfortable chairs and a table outside for guests to unwind and enjoy the outdoors. Dress up for the occasion and indulge guests with a range of sharing plates and simple charcuterie platters of Italian olives and cheeses.