6 Best Italian Aperitivos To Enjoy In Rome

Aperitivo is almost an institution in Italy. An early evening aperitivo is said to stimulate the appetite before dinner, compared to a digestivo, which aids digestion after dinner. It sounds like any old excuse Italians use for a nice drink, but why not? – Aperitivo is more of a social and lifestyle choice than just a drug.

Walk around Rome early in the evening, all the terraces and bars are full of couples meeting friends, finishing work before going home, or enjoying the golden afternoon light before sunset.

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The drink is usually accompanied by snacks such as olives, chips, chips, salami, even small arancini, or often antipasti.

Even the more touristy bars can’t go wrong with mixing drinks, so after a day of sightseeing you can sit back and relax, even in popular hotspots.

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In the name of research, I recently had a few aperitivos in Rome, any excuse to sit at a bar, drink in hand, watch the sunset, people watch, and view the view. Or simple dolce far nientedoing nothing and loving every minute.

Many Italian aperitifs are made with Campari or Aperol, so you’ll notice they’re orange. But each is different and appeals to different tastes. You’ll also see beer and wine drunk, but these aren’t half as fun as proper Italian aperitivos, or if you want to keep it Italian: aperitif.

Here are some great drinks I’ve tried that don’t necessarily originate from Rome, but have tried there.

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Sicilian Orange Campari Cocktail

Sicilian Orange Campari Cocktail

Image credit: UliAb / Shutterstock.com

1. Campari

Everywhere

Let’s start with Campari, because it is not only drunk drunk, on the rocks, with soda or other mixers, but also the basis of many Italian aperitifs. As with many foods with strong, unique flavors, people tend to either hate it or love it. Campari is really bitter. It is classified as a “bitter” in the liquor dictionary and refers to a bitter or sour herbal alcoholic beverage. Aside from the many bitter herbs, it’s quite difficult to figure out what exactly is in Campari’s ingredients, but the drink is redder than Aperol, with a hint of orange, but with a brighter hue.

Campari always reminds me of my dad, he always drinks it on ice or with sparkling water. As a child, I was drawn to the taste and it startled me and made me cringe, but somehow, as an adult, it seems to have paved the way for my love of Campari and Campari drinks.

When going out for an aperitif in Italy, it would be hard to find one that isn’t somehow connected to Campari. Try a small amount of Campari diluted with fresh orange juice without pulling your face to enjoy the flavor. You get the orange flavor, but it’s cut by the bitterness of the Campari, making the orange juice sweeter and the Campari less bitter. Really won.

Aperol Spritz at Il Palazzetto

Aperol Spritz at Il Palazzetto

Photo credit: Ulrike Lemmin-Wolfry

2. Aperol Spritz

Il Palazetto

Perhaps the most famous aperitivo in Italy, and especially in France, is the Aperol Spritz, an orange drink easily recognized as a bright neon orange served in a rather large glass with plenty of ice. Aperol is an Italian bitter made with gentian grass; cchona, a flowering plant; and mixed with rhubarb and prosecco and soda, it’s lighter and longer. Sometimes called a Spritz Veneziano, I found that the first Spritz you order in Venice can often be a white wine spritzer rather than an Aperol Spritz. Either way, wherever you go in Rome in the early evening, the bright orange color calls to you from afar.

To enjoy your Aperol Spritz, as well as the sunset and the amazing view, head straight to Il Palazetto, one of my favorite rooftop terraces in Rome, right at the top of the Spanish Steps.

Americano cocktail

Americano cocktail

Image credit: UliAb / Shutterstock.com

3. Americano

Bacano

A firm Roman favorite is the Americano, not to be confused with the coffee of the same name. Americano is another splash made with orange, DiBaldo 721 Vermouth, Campari and soda. The bitterness of Campari is there, but diffused by the sweet vermouth, made fresher and lighter with the help of soda. Less alcoholic than Aperol Spritz because it doesn’t contain Prosecco, it’s a cool, light summer drink.

Located next to the Trevi Fountain, serving food and drinks all day, Baccano’s travel-themed cocktail menu features the best cocktails and aperitifs from around the world, which is dangerous for travelers like us, because the variety of drinks is magical. We invite you to reminisce about your past travels or inspire your future travels. But here, Americano is on the list of Italian favorites, and you know what to do when you’re in Rome.

Hugo cocktail and elder flower

Hugo cocktail and elder flower

Image credit: Johanna Muehlbauer / Shutterstock.com

4. The Hugo

Roman pavilions, early music

I saw the first Hugo on the rooftops of the Roman pavilions, the first music overlooking the Tiber and Rome stretching beyond it. This is a Spritz for those who are not yet accustomed to Italian bitters. Made without any Campari or Aperol, it’s clear and not bitter at all. Instead, The Hugo is mixed with prosecco and bittersweet, soda and mint, making it a cool, slightly alcoholic drink on a summer’s evening.

That being said, some recipes add a bit of weight, while others add lime; Everyone has tried to improve the old recipe in some way. It originated along Italy’s northern border, South Tyrol, Austria, Switzerland and/or with German influence, so there is no Campari, German name. If you want to pamper yourself with a variety of Italian aperitifs, this is a great place to start.

Negroni cocktail

Negroni cocktail

Image credit: Marian Veyo / Shutterstock.com

5. Negroni

Piazza Navona

Here’s another orange contender. This is my husband’s favorite, but I find it too strong. Naturally, this drink, made with Campari, sweet vermouth, a gin wedge, and a little ice, is so strong that it’s made entirely of alcohol, unlike most of the other drinks listed here. Diluted with sparkling water, as requested by Americans traveling in and around Milan, it becomes an Americano (see above), which is no longer a proper Negroni.

That being said, you can now get Negroni Spritzes called Negroni Sbagliato, and it uses all the same ingredients as a regular Negroni – sometimes slimmed down – but prosecco is “diluted”. So again, pretty strong. It’s lighter in flavor, but in this case, the snacks that tend to accompany aperitifs in Italy are not only enjoyable but also necessary to keep you walking straight after you’ve indulged.

Try a Negroni Spritz on one of the many terraces in Piazza Navona, such as Il Grifone, as they seem to dilute the Negroni a bit, making it drinkable and not overpowering. Some call it sacrifice; I think it is more useful.

Hassler Bistro at Palm Court

Hassler Bistro at Palm Court

Photo credit: Ulrike Lemmin-Wolfry

6. Sparkling wine

Hassler Bistro at Palm Court

Nothing beats prosecco, not when it comes to global fame and global sales. Italy is a leading producer of sparkling wine, and prosecco is the country’s most popular sparkling export. And who doesn’t like prosecco? In fact, I have to frankly admit that I don’t like it. I don’t know what it is that might be a slightly different process than other sparkling creations like champagne. I really don’t know, but I tend to avoid it.

Instead, I found a wonderful Italian sparkling wine at Hasler Bistro in Palm Court, recommended by the sommelier after I hesitated about not liking the country’s most famous sparkling wine. It was a Monte Rossa Coupé and I really liked it. No, this is not an advertisement. Like prosecco, it hails from northern Italy, but I found it lighter, with smaller bubbles, perfect for a pre-dinner drink.

Professional advice: Sparkling wine can be enjoyed outside in the beautiful setting of the palm palace, but head to Salon Eve. Here, plush armchairs and the former owner’s cuddly reptile-loving quirky turtle are perfect for a strong Negroni. perfect for cooler months.

Want to recreate your favorite aperitif at home? Take a mixed studies course in Rome.

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