The perfect Italian cocktail hour

What does an Italian do after a long day of work? Well, an Italian certainly doesn’t go home without having an aperitif  [aperitivo] with friends. Drinking, eating, chatting and toasting the end of the day are the basic ingredients for an Italian happy hour. Here are five tips to enjoy your cocktail time.

 

Italian Aperitif

Italian Aperitif

 

1. Good friends

Whether you are at home, in a chic new bar or in a casual pub, when it comes to an Italian cocktail hour the place doesn’t matter because it is your friends who are the protagonists. Feel free to prepare an aperitif at home or order a drink from the waiter, but make sure to invite a group to enjoy with you. From wine to cocktails it’s always the right time to say “cheers!”

Drinking with friends

Drinking with friends

 

2. Finger food

With an array of hors d’oeuvres usually arranged buffet-style, the spread of food for an Italian aperitif is so rich that you can skip dinner because one bite leads to another. Starting with chips, olives, nuts and a platter of cured meats and cheese you’ll move on to eating bruschetta, mini-pizzas, rice salad and, if you are lucky, pinzimonio, caprese salad and a mix of fried calamari and seafood.

Pizza

Pizza

 

Finger Food

Finger Food

 

Fritto Misto

Fritto Misto

 

3. Italian Drinks

Made from the Italian sparkling wine Prosecco and the aperitif Aperol, the mixed drink called Spriz is the symbol of an Italian cocktail hour. Other Prosecco-based drinks include Bellini, Rossini or Mimosa, while the cocktails are made from Vodka or Rum.

Spritz

Spritz

 

4. Music

The chattering of friendly voices isn’t always enough to create the perfect atmosphere for an Italian happy hour. Put on the perfect song in order to really enjoy your drink.

How to Enjoy Happy Hour | 5 tips for an Italian Style Aperitif

How to Enjoy Happy Hour | 5 tips for an Italian Style Aperitif

 

5. Cheers!

Let’s make a toast! Whether you’re wishing someone good luck, offering congratulations for a recent achievement, celebrating a birthday or just want to express how much you appreciate your friends, raise your glass to the center of the table and always look your companions in the eye as you say “Salute!”

Cheers

Cheers

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