Aperitivo. A genius thing. I know I have banged on about it before but really, it is amazing that you get basically a meal, or at the very least a hearty platter of snacks just by ordering alcohol. We have had everything from some humble crisps, nuts and breadsticks to olives and fresh veggie crudités to cooked meats and local cheeses to bruschetta and pasta and pizza. Strictly speaking aperitivo is from around 5/6pm to about 8/9pm but basically at any other time of the day you get given a little selection of something to munch on whilst you enjoy your drink.
But it is not only the food that is so good. I have succumbed to one or two delicious aperitif’s. A few years back on our first visit to Italy one evening in Rome, sitting in a great little bar in a hidden alleyway, all crumbling old buildings and creeping ivy, I happened to notice that a huge amount of people were drinking something a lurid orange and fizzy. Then every other time we have found ourselves back in Italy I have noticed the same thing, but being of quiet British reserve instead of asking what it was everyone was drinking I just sat there wondering.
Now I am normally strictly a G&T or a glass of wine kinda girl who is partial to an occasional cocktail but I have a new favourite beverage, the lurid fizzy orange drink the Italians seem to love is Aperol. I have had one or two Campari sodas in my time (another Italian aperitif preference) but Aperol & soda is much nicer, not quite as sour, a bit sweeter but still with a sour note to it. And to make this even better they add Prosecco (Italy’s far superior answer to champagne, worthy of being drunk by itself, just lovely) and a slice of orange to make a spritz. Which is just delicious, I can’t really describe the taste apart from like a grown up glass of fizzy pop! Yum! Served with lashings of ice, it just tastes like summer in a glass!
|Campari soda and nibbles at lake Garda!|
The only reason I found out what the hell it was everyone was drinking was by way of a fellow blogger, Ms adventures in Italy, who is based in Milan and did a whole blog about the how, what and where of aperitivo. She had listed all that were acceptable drinks to order and what the hell they were and here it was that I discovered what the lurid orange fizz is, and so now I know what to order!