Italian Happy Hour

What Makes an Italian Happy Hour Unique

The new social trend that has gained immense popularity, especially with the young professional crowd, that revolves around food, drinks and companionship. Aperitivo is an Italian concept that involves a functional way for groups of friends to meet up for a cocktail and enjoying hors d’oeuvres at their favorite spot. Sure, this may sound similar to going out for tapas or enjoying happy hour but there is a unique feeling that aperitivo provides that is unlike anything else.

Here is a brief rundown of what makes an Italian aperitivo something you should check out!

OriginsAntonio Benedetto Carpano

Like many cultural staples, it is hard to explicitly claim when the concept of aperitivo came to be. The accepted consensus seems to be that the creator of vermouth liquor, Antonio Benedetto Carpano, started the aperitivo movement in Torino, Italy in 1786. The fundamental idea of aperitivo is that small snacks are enjoyed with a bitter tasting drink didn’t truly take off until the 1920s in Milan, which now considered the capital of the aperitivo.

The word aperitivo stems from the Latin verb aperire which means “to open.” In the sense related to a pre-dinner snack, the Italians believe that the appetite needs to be “opened” before a meal by eating. Seems a little strange to those who believe that you should only eat when you’re hungry but the Italian culture is centered around food.

Drinks

If you find yourself in Italy, any major town or city (more northern the better) will offer  avariety of restaurants and cafes that offer aperitivos of various kinds. Depending on the region you find yourself in, the classic Italian aperitivo drinks can vary distinctly. The two common types are mixed with Aperol or Campari liquors. Often bitter to the first taste but after trying them on more than one occasion, the taste is easily acquired and becomes very pleasant. Some people may order a glass of wine, Americano, Spritz or other cocktails like a Mojito or Cosmopolitan but the drinks should be low in alcohol and be on the bitter/dry side as to slowly start up your pre-dinner appetite.

Menu

The complexity of the food and snacks can range greatly and is entirely up for interpretation. Some bars and restaurants will go the simple and effective route and offer drinks with a small selection of nuts and olive. Others will approach the opposite end of the spectrum and offer an elaborately put together menu of exquisite food like fresh pasta, Italian cheeses, sautéed vegetables and sandwiches. It’s not uncommon now for places to branch outside of their Italian comfort zone and offers international dishes as well.

The main idea is not to turn the aperitivo into the main meal, it’s intended to warm you up and prepare you for the meal. The socializing aspect is meant to keep you focused on the companionship rather than indulging on the snacks.

At Via Verdi, you’ll find the best aperitivo combination this side of the Atlantic. Located in the heart of Miami, Via Verdi takes pride in offering only the finest, most authentically inspired Italian cuisine in all of Miami. Check out their menu and grab your friends, coworkers or family and experience a true Italian happy hour at Via Verdi tonight!

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