This traditional drink is a refreshing start to any evening.
When the sun starts to go down in Italy, everyone flocks to the bar for a pre-dinnertime ritual called aperitivo. Unlike the happy hour we know and love here in the U.S., aperitivo is about more than just knocking back a few discounted drinks. It’s time to socialize with your friends have a few snacks, and get ready for what is sure to be a delicious dinner.
Because it’s meant to be the start of the evening, traditional aperitivo drinks are refreshing and low-proof. While bars are happy to make you anything you like, most people order a spritz, a palate-pleasing combination of prosecco, amaro (a category of bitter liqueur that is believed to stimulate the appetite), and a little citrus.
My favorite spritz is made with Aperol, a brilliantly orange, lightly bitter concoction made with rhubarb from Padua. With a twist of orange, it’s a sweet foil for olives, nuts, or an antipasto platter for your own aperitivo hour.