The Italian art of the aperitivo: Quintessential of the Italian lifestyle

More than just a drink, the aperitivo is a moment of the day, a recurrent feature of the daily or weekly life in Italy. Quintessential of the Italian lifestyle, the aperitif time is a friendly moment spent in good company to chill over a drink and a snack after work or during the weekend. 

Typically the aperitivo is accompanied by stuzzichini, a variety of delicious bites that are either served together with your drink or that you can choose from a buffet. For a bit more than the price of a drink, the aperitif moment can turn into an apericena, which may replace your evening meal altogether. Even when eating out, the aperitif is usually consumed at a bar, rather than as an appetite-opening drink at a restaurant.

Unsurprisingly, many brands of aperitifs have been invented in Italy. Famous Italian brands of Italian aperitifs include Martini, Cinzano, Campari and Aperol.

Below follows a list of the most popular aperitifs and cocktails consumed in Italy.

Bellini, a glamorous long-drink cocktail invented by Giuseppe Cipriani, bartender at Harry’s bar, Venice in 1948, and made of pureed peach and white sparkling wine or prosecco (purists prefer not to use champagne). As a reference, the first Bellini ever made was composed with Conegliano prosecco from the Valdobbiadene Wine region.

As the Bellini was invented at the time of a retrospective exhibition of Giovanni Bellini, Giuseppe Cipriani decided to name his invention after the artist. Another story has it that the refreshing invention was named after the vivid paintings with pink hues by Giovanni Bellini.