When my good friend and one of the top wine professionals in the state Fabien Jacob poured me a sweet white vermouth as an aperitivo the other night at Dough Pizzeria (one of my favs) in San Antonio, I was transported back to my university days in Italy in the 90s when no meal started without an aperitivo…
Today, I wrote and posted a fun piece about vermouth and its role in Americana cocktails over at the Houston Press.
Buona lettura e buon appetito!
Martini Bianco and just a small twist of lemon over ice is low alcohol and one of my faves. Thanks for the post and the article on HP. I am a big Vermouth guy
I blogged about this selfsame thing when I was in Italy. Love the aperitivo, the whole custom of it, the food, the bitterness, the fizz, the culture.
Jeremy, surely aperitivo is by no means a lost art in the Parzen household. I can’t imagine my day without a post-work Campari (which I sometimes combine with TG1 for greater authenticity).
That Cocchi label is fab, by the way.
“Vermut al grifo” (vermouth on tap!) in Spain at one of the old taverns got me hooked.
Aperitivo is indeed a lovely ritual! Campari and soda (or a campari soda) is my favorite, but martini bianco is a very close second. Bitter with salty crunchy things is a joy for the mouth to behold, for sure. I miss it!!
Don’t forget the Negroni, the king of Aperitivos. Unfortunately the name sounds a touch unpolitically correct , but it takes the name from a Conte Negroni who apparently invented it in Florence in the Twenties
1/3 of red Vermouth, Martini or Carpano (as originally created)
If you don’t want to get smashed before dinner, you can always try a lighter version of it, named Sbagliato, which has the Prosecco instead of the Gin
If you want to turn your Negroni towards Piemonte and Barolo (I always tend to turn that way) try to exchange the Vermouth with Barolo Chinato (preferably Cappellanos). Excellent !
I had a lovely apperitivo with the Cocchi at a fabulous spot in San Antonio, The Monterey. Simple, just a twist of orange, ice, and a touch of sparkling water. I grew up with parents who enjoyed a Campari or a dry sherry before the weekend meals, so I am all about apperitivi. As a kid I hated Campari, of course, but now I love it!
I really loved The Monterey! Jar have you and Tracie P checked that out yet?
Speaking of Aperitivo, it is so sacred in Italy that I typically judge time of the day and my appetite by Aperitivo time. When we built Block 7 it was on the concept of the great aperitivo. Houston is a happy-hour culture like no other in Texas and for them much like in Milano, it is all about drinks and what comes with it (often used as a dinner sub).
I could go for an Americano right now (at 7:47 am)
Wow, I had no idea that folks would like this post so much. Thanks, yall, for the comments!
@Nelle Nuvole, did you know that the Negroni was the official cocktail of the Italian Futurists?
All the recipes here sound awesome… and I’m going to try each and every one of them!
Evviva l’aperitivo! :)
I think when you touch on these elements of Italy, like aperitivo, all of us who share your passion for the Italian nomenclature of living will come out of the woodwork. Your words remind us so easily of our own self discoveries in Italy and how those discoveries shaped our perceptions of the world. To this end I say: