How To: Drink like an Italian this summer

As the evenings warm up and you start to resent being at work past 3 pm on a sunny Friday afternoon we know you can’t help but imagine running away from it all on an Italian retreat, filled with sun, wine and gelato.  Whilst you might not actually be able to make it Italy - you can drink like an Italian this summer.

Whether its pizza or pasta, everyone has a pretty good idea about what it means to eat like an Italian, but how do we enjoy the summer heatwaves and drink like an Italian? Well, no one understands the art of drinking as the Italians do, and the Italian’s even have a drink for every moment!

Italian’s are no stranger to a good drink, much like food and art are a key part of Italian culture. Discover our tips on how you can start drinking like an Italian this summer!

Start drinking Aperitivo’s

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Italians even have a  classier version of what we might call pre-drinks (although their intention is a little different from our teenage years spent trying to save money at the club). They start with an Aperitivo: Aperitivi, or opener drinks which are typically enjoyed before dinner as they are considered to “open” your stomach and prepare you for the meal you’re about to enjoy. Aperitivos are a key part of daily life in Italy(so perhaps the pre-drink comparison dies here). Aperitivos usually take place between 4 and 8 p.m, allowing you to wind down before dinner. Now, this really is a concept we can all get behind!

To recreate an aperitivo at home, you’ll need a few snacks, think a bowl of olives, some cured meat and cheese or even just some crisps. For drinks, a Negroni (equal parts Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth) or an Aperol Spritz (two parts Aperol, three parts Prosecco, and a splash of soda) are traditional options, but a glass of wine or prosecco are also good alternatives!

Enjoy Italian cocktails

Bellini Recipe

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The Bellini cocktail was created by Giuseppe Cipriani, the owner of Harry’s Bar in Venice in 1948.  3/10 peach nectar and 7/10 Prosecco Build it directly into a champagne flute, pouring in the peach nectar first then topping it with prosecco.

The Rossini is essentially the same as a Bellini except you use fresh strawberry nectar instead of peach. The proportions you use to make the drink are exactly the same.

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Limoncello Spritz Recipe

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Limoncello is often used as an after-dinner digestive, making this one truly Italian cocktail… It couldn’t be any easier. Add 1 part limoncello, 3 parts Prosecco and 1 part soda water in a glass and gently stir.

End the evening with: the digestivo

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Having a digestivo refers to the Italian tradition of drinking an after-dinner drink to help digestion (Yes they really have a pre-dinner drink, and an after-dinner drink in addition to the drinks they have with dinner!). Unlike an aperitivo, which is often dry or bitter to stimulate an appetite, a digestivo can be bitter or sweet.

Amaro – Italian for “bitter,” an amaro is made with lots of different herbs and roots that vary based on type and brand.

Grappa – A shot of grappa will definitely get things moving after a heavy dinner or to start a long night. A  high-proof wine liquor made from grapes, this drink is all Italian: It has to be made in an Italian territory to be considered true grappa.