Michael and I are both part Italian, and while neither of us has had the pleasure of venturing to Italy (yet), we both love hearing about Italian traditions from our families. One of those traditions is aperitivo hour.
The word aperitivo is the name for both the ritual of going out for a pre-dinner drink and the sort of drink that you most likely imbibe. Aperitivo comes from the Latin word meaning “to open.” In Italy, aperitivo hour is something that opens your stomach so you can enjoy your upcoming meal. In addition to a drink or two, aperitivos usually involve food – from the smallest, most perfectly salted and shaped fresh potato chips, to briny olives, parmigiano cheese and thin slices of salami.
First, we started with our aperitivo drink, combining 2 oz. Carpano Bianco vermouth with about 1 oz. of orange juice, a splash of fresh lemon juice and a dash of grenadine. As Italian vermouth, Carpano Bianco’s flavor palate is fresh, citric and exotic, so this drink came together very well. Fresh cocoa and chocolate mixed with fruit, particularly grapefruit, merge on the palate. Subtly sweet, it’s rich and velvety with smooth vanilla.
For food, we created a simple Italian charcuterie plate. Combining thin-sliced San Guiseppe hot sopressata and sweet sopressata, prosciotto, provolone cheese, Sini Fulvi pecorino romano (a nice soft cheese), parmesan crisps, olives, grapes, walnuts and crumbled gorgonzola.
What would you make for your aperitivo hour?