As the temperatures heat up, our thoughts are on how to stay cool in what can be sweltering summer days in Italy. Though we have a gorgeous pool overlooking a beautiful panoramic visit of the Vicchio hillside, sometimes you need a nice drink to go along with what most certainly will be a relaxing holiday stay in Tuscany.
After all, this is a country that embraces slow days and apertif’s before dinner (coined locally as ‘aperitivo’. This is that valuable time before dinner that where everyone can catch up on the day’s events, without the distraction of cuisine. We wanted to share a few our own favorite summer Italian drinks that we recommend you trying on your next trip to Italy.
1. The Spritz
Pictured above, in so many piazzas around Tuscany, you will see people sipping these-orange color cocktails, it almost signifies the arrival of nice weather. The origins lie in North-East Italy, typically the Veneto region, it is said that the drink was born during the Hapsburg domination in the 1800’s. Ingredients include prosecco wine, a dash of some bitter liqueur such as Aperol or Campari, then topped with mineral water, served over ice in a wine or low-ball glass. Adding a slice of orange is mandatory (well at least to us).
2. The Bellini
On a slow night in 1948, the head bartender at the historic Harry’s bar (still in existence) in Venice, created a cocktail that no one will ever forget. A very simple drink made of two parts prosecco and one part white-peach puree. Incredibly simple but even better than it sounds, and extremely refreshing. We recommend chilling the glass before serving.
Not exactly a drink, more of an after-dinner digestive delight. You can’t come to Italy without having an icy-cold ‘shot’ of this lemon liquor. While it typically is known as the drink of the south, in the campagnia area around Naples, you can find it at any historical restaurant in the country. Making it is very simple as well, a combination of pure alcohol, high-quality lemons, sugar and and water. Check out this recipe on the Food Network.
The name might not be the nicest we have ever heard but we promise you that this lemon-based cocktail is worth a try. Extremely easy to create, and perfect for days at the beach, all you need is really fabulous lemon sorbet, prosecco or chilled Italian sparkling wine, vodka and the zest of a lemon. Whisk the ingredients together, pour into champagne flutes and top with zest. Perfect for summer dinner parties.
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