The history of the Italian aperitif

Welcome to our new blog post about “The History of the Italian Aperitif”! Are you also curious about the origins and evolution of this delicious traditional drink? Together we will embark on a journey of discovery through the fascinating history of the Italian aperitif. Dive with us into the world of flavors and history!

Origin of the aperitif

The aperitif occupies a special place in the rich culinary history of Italy. Let's go back in time and discover where the tradition of the Italian aperitif comes from and how it acquired its unique position in Italian culture.

From old recipes to contemporary traditions

  • Vermouth: One of the most iconic ingredients of Italian aperitifs is vermouth. This flavored and fortified wine product originated in Turin, Italy in the 18th century. The well-known brands Martini & Rossi and Cinzano have a prominent place in the history and tradition of vermouth.
  • Aperol Spritz: A more modern favorite is the Aperol Spritz, a refreshing mix of Aperol, Prosecco and sparkling water. This drink became popular in the 20th century and has become a symbol of Italian aperitif culture. Brands like Aperol and Riccadonna offer quality products for making the perfect Aperol Spritz.

The cultural significance

  • The Italian aperitif represents more than just a drink before dinner. It is a moment of togetherness, relaxation and enjoying the good life.
  • The ritual of the aperitif is deeply rooted in Italian social culture, where friends and family gather to discuss the day and toast life.

Tips for the perfect aperitif moment

  • Choose quality ingredients such as well-known Italian liqueurs and wines.
  • Accompany your aperitif with delicious antipasti such as olives, cheese and fresh bruschetta.
  • Experiment with different recipes and mixes to create your own unique aperitif.

Over the centuries, the Italian aperitif has earned its place as an indispensable part of Italian gastronomy and culture. Cheers to the good life with an authentic Italian aperitif.

Evolution over the years

The Italian aperitif is an important part of the Italian culinary tradition and has developed over the years from simple drinks to complex and varied creations. This evolution has been influenced by several factors and trends that have contributed to the diversity and popularity of aperitifs in Italy.

Traditional aperitifs

  • Negroni: A classic Italian aperitif based on gin, vermouth and Campari.
  • Aperol Spritz: A refreshing mix of Aperol, Prosecco and sparkling water.
  • Martini: A cocktail made with gin and dry vermouth, served with an olive or lemon peel.

Influences and trends

Increasing international influence

  • Growing globalization has led to the introduction of new ingredients and flavors in Italian aperitif culture.
  • Examples include the rise of Japanese whiskey in cocktails and the popularity of South American distillates such as pisco and tequila.

Focus on craftsmanship and quality

  • Consumers are showing a greater interest in artisanal and high-quality products, which has led to a booming market for premium aperitifs.
  • Brands such as Martini Riserva Speciale and Campari Superiore respond to this trend by offering exclusive and hand-crafted aperitifs.

Innovation in flavor profiles

  • Producers are experimenting with new flavor combinations and techniques to create unique aperitifs that meet the changing taste preferences of consumers.
  • Example is Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto, a modern twist on traditional Italian liqueurs with citrus flavors.

Sustainability and environmental awareness

  • Consumers increasingly value sustainability and environmentally friendly practices, forcing manufacturers to respond.
  • Brands such as Luxardo and Cocchi emphasize their commitment to sustainable production and responsible use of ingredients.

Popular Italian aperitifs

Italy is known for its rich culinary traditions and delicious drinks. One of the most beloved aspects of Italian gastronomy are the aperitifs, refreshing drinks that are the perfect start to a meal or a social gathering. In this blog post we take a closer look at some of the most popular Italian aperitifs, including their unique flavors, ingredients and regional variations.

Aperol Spritz

  • Ingredients: Aperol, Prosecco, sparkling water, ice and a slice of orange
  • Flavor profile: Bittersweet with a hint of citrus
  • Regional variants: In Venice, a Spritz is often served with an olive instead of an orange slice


  • Ingredients: Campari, red vermouth, sparkling water and a slice of lemon
  • Flavor profile: Intensely bitter with spicy and fruity notes
  • Regional variants: In Milan, Campari is often mixed with orange juice for a sweeter twist


  • Ingredients: Gin, red vermouth, Campari and a slice of orange
  • Flavor profile: Hearty and bittersweet, with a perfect balance between the ingredients
  • Regional variants: In Florence, the traditional Negroni is sometimes replaced by a Negroni Sbagliato, to which Prosecco is added

Comparing the Aperitifs

Aperol SpritzCampariNegroni
IngredientsAperol, Prosecco, sparkling water, ice, orangeCampari, red vermouth, sparkling water, lemonGin, red vermouth, Campari, orange
Flavor profileBittersweet, citrusIntense bitter, fruityStrong, bittersweet, balanced

Clearly, Italian aperitifs offer a wide range of flavors and experiences, meaning there is something for everyone to enjoy. Try them yourself and see which ones will become your favorites! Buon appetito! 🍹🇮🇹

Aperitif culture in Italy

Italy is known for its rich culinary traditions, with the aperitif playing a central role in the social interactions of Italians. The aperitif, also known as 'aperitivo', is more than just a drink before a meal. It is a ritual that is deeply rooted in Italian society and symbolizes a moment of relaxation, enjoying delicious snacks and sharing stories with friends and family.

Significance of the aperitif in Italian society

The aperitif symbolizes hospitality, conviviality and celebrating the good life. It is an opportunity to unwind after a long day of work and enjoy the company of others. Italians attach great importance to the quality of the aperitif, carefully considering the choice of drinks and snacks.

The ritual of aperitivo

The ritual of aperitivo usually starts around the end of the afternoon and continues until the beginning of the evening. Popular drinks during aperitivo are spritz, negroni, and Aperol spritz. These classic cocktails are often served with a selection of tasty snacks, such as olives, bruschetta, and cheese boards.

The aperitif is often enjoyed on the terraces of local bars and cafés, where the atmosphere is relaxed and the music pleasant. It is customary to chat, laugh and enjoy the beautiful surroundings during aperitivo.

Role of aperitivo in social interactions

Aperitivo plays an important role in the social life of Italians. It is an opportunity to get together with friends, colleagues or family and relax after a busy day. The informal setting of aperitivo lowers the threshold for interaction and creates valuable connections between people.

During aperitivo people not only enjoy food and drinks, but also each other's company. Sharing experiences, exchanging news and creating memories are the core of the aperitif.

For a varied selection of Italian aperitif snacks and drinks, be sure to check out Campari, Aperol and Prosecco DOC products. Below is a handy bullet point list:

  • Campari: An iconic Italian liqueur with a spicy and bittersweet taste, perfect for classic cocktails such as the Negroni.
  • Aperol: A light, fresh liqueur that forms the basis for the popular Aperol Spritz, a summer drink that should not be missed during aperitivo.
  • Prosecco DOC: A sparkling Italian wine that can be used in many ways as an aperitif, both neat and in mixed drinks.

With these authentic Italian products you create the perfect aperitif experience and invite your guests to embrace the Italian culture. Buon appetito!

A tasty journey through the history of its origins

After exploring the history of the Italian aperitif, it is now time to enjoy an Italian aperitif yourself and embrace the rich tradition. Try it out and discover how this drink is not only a taste experience, but also an essential part of Italian culinary culture. Enjoy it!

Frequently asked questions about Italian aperitifs

What is the origin of the Italian aperitif?

The Italian aperitif has its origins in the 18th century in Turin. It is said that Antonio Benedetto Carpano created the first vermouth in 1786, which was the beginning of the aperitif ritual as we know it today. Aperitifs are intended to stimulate the appetite and are often enjoyed before dinner with small snacks such as olives, cheese and cold cuts.

Are there regional variations in how the aperitif is enjoyed in Italy?

Yes, there are certainly regional variations in the way the aperitif is enjoyed in Italy. In Northern Italy, the aperitif often equates to an extensive happy hour with a wide selection of snacks, while in the South it is more traditional to have a small snack with a fresh drink such as an Aperol Spritz. Each region has its own preferences and traditions surrounding the aperitif, which makes its enjoyment so interesting and diverse in Italy.

What role does the aperitif play in Italian culture and social etiquette?

The aperitif plays an important role in Italian culture and social etiquette. It is a time to gather with friends and family before dinner, and enjoy a drink such as Aperol Spritz or Campari. Small snacks are often served during the aperitif, such as olives, bruschetta and cheese. It is an opportunity to relax, socialize and work up an appetite for dinner. The aperitif is a valued tradition that contributes to conviviality and solidarity in Italian society.

What ingredients are commonly used in making Italian aperitifs?

When making Italian aperitifs, ingredients such as vermouth, Campari, Aperol, Prosecco, citrus fruits and olives are often used. These ingredients form the basis for popular aperitifs such as Aperol Spritz, Negroni and Bellini. These drinks are loved all over the world for their distinctive flavors and refreshing nature.

When did the concept of the aperitif become popular in Italy?

The concept of the aperitif became popular in Italy in the late 18th century, during the Renaissance. Italians then started drinking various light alcoholic drinks before their evening meal. The aperitif quickly became an essential part of Italian culinary culture.

How does the Italian aperitif differ from similar traditions in other countries?

The Italian aperitif differs from similar traditions in other countries by its focus on lightly alcoholic drinks and small snacks consumed before dinner. Unlike Spanish tapas or French business meals, for example, the Italian aperitif is more focused on socializing and relaxing before the meal. During the aperitif you can enjoy drinks such as Aperol Spritz or Campari, often accompanied by olives, cheese, cold cuts and other snacks. It's a time to relax and enjoy each other's company before dinner begins.

What are the famous Italian aperitifs and where do they come from?

There are several well-known Italian aperitifs, such as Aperol, Campari and Martini. Aperol originates from Padua, Campari from Milan and Martini from Turin. These drinks are popular as an aperitif and are often mixed with sparkling water or other ingredients to make refreshing cocktails. If you like bittersweet flavors, these Italian aperitifs are definitely worth a try!

Shopping cart0
Your shopping cart is empty.... add something quickly
Continue shopping.