Some handy tips and tricks to impress your guests in an easy, tasty and authentic fashion.
Italy is full of rituals, little everyday moments that immediately make you feel happier. The aperitivo is certainly one of those, a way to end the day in a relaxed mood after many long and labourious hours of work.
The aperitivo has ancient origins and was born in Turin more than 200 years ago in 1786 when Mr. Antonio Benedetto Carpano started producing an aromatised wine with an infusion of herbs and spices in his little shop. The aperitivo was actually unconsciously consumed by the Romans who drank ‘mulsum’, a drink consisting of wine and honey, which was used to stimulate the appetite (in Latin “aperitivus” – that opens).
The aperitivo (or happy hour) nowadays is an increasingly popular, worldwide ritual where more and more people choose to prepare it in the comforts of their own homes to enjoy a moment of conviviality with their closest friends whilst indulging in their favourite wines, cocktails and home-made appetizers.
All of us can become a master of aperitivos if you know how to do it properly. Today we reveal to you all the secrets which are guaranteed to impress your guests by simply flaunting just a little bit of true Italian flair.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
It seems obvious but you always have to offer the highest quality of food and beverage items to your guests for an aperitivo. All of your finger foods have to be simple, appealing to the eye and made only with fresh and high quality ingredients. Check in your closest markets and delis for the most seasonal and locally sourced top quality products.
SERVE TO IMPRESS
You don’t want to be serving the usual boring drinks do you? Ask Google or your most trusted barman for some advice to impress your guests in this department to suit your favoured palate. Every dish and drink must have a little garnish to add character, maybe add some small decorations like a few blueberries to the cocktail and try to use traditional style crockery to make your dishes appear more authentic. And each dish has to be Instagram-appropriate, of course!
MISE EN PLACE LIKE A PRO
Don’t just think about what you are going to prepare but also about how you are going to
present it. By having a rustic style tablecloth, a traditional looking set of dishes and using
some fun accessories which will enchant your guests, even the simplest recipe will appear to be created by a star chef. Seeing is believing!
Summer aperitivos are obviously held outdoors so you can enjoy the golden hour with your
friends whilst the sun sets, cocktails in hand, in the welcoming, homely atmosphere of your
garden or terrace. Don’t have a garden? Not to worry, try a chic-nic on the beach or at your
local park for the ultimate outdoor aperitivo experience.
These are the main key pointers for the perfect homemade aperitivo, now you only need to
invite your friends or sweetheart and voilà! If you’re still not sure that you can become
the ultimate master of aperitivos, here’s two incredibly simple but mouthwateringly delicious recipes for you to try out!
MELON & PROSCIUTTO: A CLASSIC ITALIAN FINGER FOOD, A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN
Melon & prosciutto is the perfect combination of freshness and simplicity, a real Italian summer signature dish. The delicate taste and balance between the juicy cantaloupe sweetness and the saltiness of the prosciutto is quite simply an utter delight. It’s a historic Italian recipe with origins dating all the way back to the ancient times of the second century AD. We have to go back to Galen, the most famous doctor in the Roman Empire, to explore his theory of the four humours in order to understand the methodology behind this
rather unusual pairing of sweet fruit and seasoned meat. According to his studies, in order to be able to cure illnesses it was necessary to restore the body’s balance through feeding. That’s why cuisine became a combinational art form and this creative pairing became
so famous throughout the centuries.
WHAT’S BETTER THAN A REFRESHING AND MAYBE EVEN A LITTLE AROMATIC EVENING APERITIVO AFTER A HOT DAY IN THE WORKPLACE?
If you’re looking to cool down with a cocktail, here’s an Italian classic that’s absolutely perfect for the summer – the Spritz Hugo or Hugò!
The Hugò is a true blast of freshness – an elderflower themed cocktail that’s perfect for the aperitivo hours or after dinner. It has a very low alcohol content and can be considered as an alternative option to the more common Spritz. It’s a very refreshing and energising drink, the perfect pairing with a freshly made melon & prosciutto roll and above all, nice
and easy to prepare. Born high in the the Dolomites in South Tyrol, thanks to Roland Gruber who had the brilliant idea of flavoring the classic goblet of Prosecco with mint and elderflower syrup, the result is a sublime cocktail with a subtle, aromatic floral flavour.
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium to high heat.
2. Add flour, then whisk in the milk.
3. Bring to boil whilst stirring constantly.
4. Add the Parmigiano Reggiano DOP and stir until it has melted.
5. Season with salt.
6. Cut and deseed the cantaloupe, then peel and cut the flesh into 40 bite-sized
7. Wrap a prosciutto slice around each cantaloupe chunk.
8. Fill the bottom of the plate with Parmigiano Reggiano sauce, then add the melon &
prosciutto rolls and garnish with a few traditional balsamic vinegar drops.
1. Place the ice cubes in a large wine glass.
2. Gently muddle the mint and add the juice from one lemon wedge.
3. Add 1 part elderflower concentrate followed up to 3 parts Prosecco.
4. Stir and add a splash of selz
© 2018 – VIDA Magazine – JacLeRoi