With an Italian winter holiday, or even a summer break on the Amalfi Coast, a somewhat wistful fancy at the moment, we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to all our favourite Italian cocktails to help you get into the holiday spirit whilst staying at home! Whether you wish to create a romantic Venetian atmosphere in your dining room or emulate a charming terrace in Positano from your own back garden, with these simple cocktail recipes, linked below, and our tips for setting the scene, you’ll be transported to Italia in no time!
Our Favourite Winter Drinks
Whilst not strictly a cocktail, we can’t get enough Vin Brulé at the moment and this festive, full-bodied wine recipe will be sure to get you in the mood for Christmas! We recommend preparing this particular drink en masse, ensuring there’s enough to go round all of your guests. And if you really want to impress, prepare a large vat about ten minutes before your friends and family are due to arrive so that the room is filled with the delicious aroma of cinnamon, citrus and cloves - the smell will transport you to one of Bologna’s festive winter markets!
If you’re hosting a fancy Italianesque dinner party, then a few sophisticated cocktails will not go amiss. We suggest serving a few select drinks an hour or so before the meal commences, to help the conversation flow as your guests mingle. In Italy this period is known as the aperitivo hour, and is a sacred time reserved for being with your loved ones. A few of our favourite cocktails to serve at a winter gathering include the classic Negroni, the Milano-Torino and the Scotch Lambrusco Mule, all of these are a little fiery - helping to keep the winter chills at bay!
Once your meal is over and your guests are heaving sighs of satisfaction, if you’re in search of a final treat to round off the evening, then look no further. We believe that an Espresso Martini makes the perfect dolce. This elegant cocktail will transport you to the heart of Milano where you can sit al fresco and watch the winter sunset as you sip this glorious concoction.
Our Favourite Summer Drinks
For some, a tall glass of wine is the perfect drink for summer, but if you crave something a little more exciting then we’ve got a few recipes up our sleeve which we know you’ll love.
Close your eyes and picture yourself reclining on a beautiful beach somewhere along Italy’s southern coast. The sun beats down on the golden sand and the turquoise ocean glistens, and in your hand is an ice-cold Aperol Spritz, the amber liquid glowing in the late afternoon light. Whilst we can’t promise you beaches and bikinis, we can offer you our cocktail recipe to help you recreate this moment at home.
We move now further north, up the Adriatic shoreline all the way to Venice. The city is bustling with locals and holiday-makers alike and you meander along the canals until you stumble upon a little piazza, tucked away from the crowds. You find a table outside at a bar and collapse into a chair, beginning to realise your thirst. The waiter arrives promptly and you order a Peach Bellini - the perfect remedy. The blush pink beverage is placed before you and with the first sip you enter new realms of contentment.
Back to Milano now, but this time it’s the height of summer and you’ve been exploring the city all day. Evening comes and the streets are springing to life, beautiful music pours out of every bar you walk past and you find yourself unable to resist its pull. Before long you’re ensconced in a small garden outside a beautiful restaurant and aperitivo hour is well underway. Despite the late hour the air is still warm and you fancy something a little lighter than the traditional Negroni, and upon the recommendation of the bartender you order a Negroni Sbagliato. This delightfully effervescent spin on the original recipe takes you on a beautiful sensory journey through Italia.
We hope you find something here to help you bring a little Italianità to your dinner party or soirée and we wish you a joyful - if vicarious - trip!
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