If you think of the Italian Dolce Vita you’ll definitely see yourself sipping a good “aperitivo” at the sunset at Rialto in Venice or in front of the Colosseo.
After a busy day Italians very often indulge in a cocktail, in a glass of spumante or in a pint of artisanal beer and tourists from all over the world love to share this tradition when they are on vacation in Italy.
For sure tourists have their tastes: some prefer to order trendy drinks, others enjoy the sophisticated Italian sparkling wines, some simply can’t avoid to have a beer. No matter what you decide to order, the “Aperitivo time” will certainly be part of your next Italian trip.
Now, the question is: can you guess who invented the aperitif?
We know it’s hard to believe but we have to thank the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates for discovering that serving a bitter drink to people suffering of lack of appetite would help them to eat more easily.
The vinum hippocraticum was prepared by macerating bitter herbs and flowers in sweet wine and was served before the meals; its bitter notes helped to “open” the stomach (from the Latin aperire) and let the patients eat more and thus recover more quickly.
Italy’s most classic aperitifs such as Vermouth, Ramazzotti, Martini, Bitter clearly reveal their connection to the Latin aperitivus, as they are still produced by infusing spirits with bitter herbs and spices.
Straight, mixed in a Negroni or in an Americano or as ingredient of one of the several versions of the Spritz: it is up to you to decide how to enjoy the Italian most classic aperitifs. However, next time that you’ll order an aperitivo, don’t forget that you’ll be relishing more than a drink – you’ll be relishing a sip of history!
Cheers…or rather: cin cin!