The Aperitivo Bar is Italy's Best Gift to Mankind
Drinks so often reflect the cultural identity of the people who create them. Italians have always embraced their drinking ways and often take pause to drink while watching other fellow Italians walk by. They likely invented the notion of people watching and in such fashion, the aperitivo cocktail was born, almost if out of necessity.
Aperitivo cocktails are often built to last and for that reason, they tend to be served long. They are designed to be a summer companion, understandably so given its Mediterranean roots but truth be told, the aperitivo can be enjoyed year round as a viable alternative to that boring glass of Chardonnay.
Fueled by Negroni-thirsty enthusiasts, the aperitivo bar trend has really taken off and is now in full display in most relevant drinking cities across the world. Bars like Dante in New York City and Bar Termini in London are now among the world's best, according to last year's World's 50 Best Bars list. Cafe Dante even made an appearance in Los Angeles, in partnership with the newly opened Broken Shaker, where a unique popup gave Angelenos a perfect taste of the aperitivo bar, in a perfect sunny So Cal rooftop setting.
The event was preempted by a thorough seminar on the Aperitivo and why it is such a win-win for both patrons and bars. Yes, bars themselves also benefit from this trend. The cost of an aperitivo cocktail is much lower than the cost of a traditional mixed cocktail. The difference for the house is significant over time, about $2-3 dollars a drink, which for a place slinging thousands of drinks a week, can be significant.
This great article on the rise of the aperitivo documents it rather well. These lighter alternatives are true winners and so much fun to enjoy it earlier in the day, let's say for a brunch, at home or out and about at the cafe. There are even a few books on the subject: like “Aperitivo: Drinks and Snacks for the Dolce Vita” (Mitchell Beazley, 2017), with recipes featuring Vermouth, Campari and other Amari based cocktails, all with food recipes to pair the drinks with for a taste of the sweet Italian life.
The Aperitivo bar offers a little piece of the Italian culture that is undeniably among one of Italy's best gifts to mankind: the ability to just let go off your day while enjoying a light cocktail, watching as others go by in their own frantic paths.
So here's to the aperitivo: a hot cocktail trend - one that will continue to shape how we drink in 2018.
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