Finally, we analyze more in depth our favorite moment of the day, the aperitivo time. It takes half of the name of our blog, but we never actually described it.
The aperitivo is a tradition that started in Italy and had a huge success worldwide, similar to the one pizza had. Ok, that was too much, my bad, nothing can compare to pizza.
Do you need an explication of what aperitivo is? Basically we can describe aperitivo as the moment preceding lunch or dinner, during which you drink something digestive, can be alcoholic or not, but alcoholic is always better. With the drink often comes some snacks… well you know.
What maybe you don’t know is that the first aperitifs were used by Hippocrates, he prescribed his Hippocratic wine to people with lack of appetite. Hippocratic wine, is an ancient wine infused with herbs (we spoke about it in Vermouth: Origins and Styles)
But let’s jump to more modern times, the aperitivo as it’s known nowadays, was not invented in Milan, as many would have guessed, but in Turin, toward the end of 1700.
Everything happened in a small shop, where a man, Antonio Benedetto Carpano, (if you follow us you’ve probably heard of him) invented a new beverage, perfect to be drunk before dinner. Yes, it was vermouth.
Antonio Benedetto Carpano’s shop (Image Source)
Big round of applause for Carpano, he invented both one of the most known drinks in the world and our favorite consumption moment in once. Good job.
In order for aperitivo to become a real social phenomenon, we will have to wait until 1900. From then on, aperitivo became an actual ritual. Every day from 18:00 to 21:00, you gather with your friends, family or colleagues to have a drink and some snacks before dinner.
After the success in Turin, aperitivo was adopted all around Italy, from Genoa to Florence followed by all the other big cities. After Italy its success reached the whole world, with names such as happy hour, or aperitif or after work.
Vermouth was the original aperitivo drink, but through the years many more joined in. The modern selection of aperitivo drinks counts, among others: Negroni, Americano, Spritz, Campari and prosecco.
Italian style aperitivo (Image Source)
It can happen that an aperitivo takes the place of the dinner, in fact many bars, that were born mainly to serve aperitivo, organized themselves in such a way that they can offer food to their guests, often in form of a buffet. This format is gaining relevance lately, since it allows to have a drink with friends and have dinner for a very economic price. During summer this happens even with more frequency, and the aperitivo moment can go well beyond dinner time transforming into an actual party.
Today, also thanks to the advertisement power of Martini, Campari and Aperol, it’s possible to have an aperitivo, Italian style, also in London, Tokyo, New York and Moscow. The trend for Italian aperitivo is growing more and more, and we hope it will not stop anytime soon.
My name is Ettore Velluto, I’m a vermouth enthusiast, I like extraordinary cocktails and I’m definitely a foodie. I earned my MsC in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at ESADE Business School and at the moment I’m enrolled in the Coursera’s Social Media Marketing course.