The best part of summer is arguably aperitivo hour, a time to gather, take in the elongated days, and simply relax. An Italian hospitality ritual, this pre-dinner drink—derived from the Latin word aperire (meaning “to open”)—is designed to ramp up the appetite for the main course to come. Add a few snacks for noshing, a strand of twinkly lights, and your favorite people, and you have a recipe for success.
So, break out the blates, fill up the ice bucket, and crack open your favorite beverage. Below are some suggestions to help you create your best aperitivo hour, whether it’s a party of one or many.
1. Batch a Drink
Aperitivo hour should be easy and breezy—no hosts running around to refill everyone’s drinks. Make a large batch of sangria, mojitos, or your preferred libation ahead of time, then serve it in a gorgeous vessel like this Ceramic Glass Dispenser to ensure a stress-free evening for hosts and guests alike.
2. Go low- (or no-) ABV
On that note, picking a beverage with a lower alcohol content or no alcohol content is a nice way to ease into the night, especially if your aperitivo hour is capping off a long day of summer activities. Because this hour ushers in the main meal of the evening, you’ll want to whet guests’ palates while leaving them wanting more—and a low-ABV spritz or mocktail will do just that.
3. Make a statement
Swapping out your branded liquor bottles for a crystal decanter is an easy upgrade that makes your bar cart look effortlessly put-together. Add some string lights, and your space is instantly party-ready.
From Our Shop
4. Infuse Your Liquor
Summer produce, and especially fruit, is so lush and sweet. Why not make the most of it by creating an infused liquor to impress your guests (and yourself!)?
5. Keep the party flowing
Curate thoughtful design elements to cultivate a laid-back vibe. For example, choosing varied garnishes or differently colored straws is a simple way to avoid the “Is this my drink?” game while adding cute and easy pops of color to the session. Adding extra stable surfaces, like this Portable Wood Table that easily sits atop soil, dirt, or sand, gives your guests ample space to safely set down their drinks without juggling plates and cups.
From Our Shop
6. Choose easy-to-eat snacks
Creating the perfect aperitivo hour cocktail might be a balancing act, but enjoying a drink and a snack shouldn’t be. Go beyond a skewer of olives and a bowl of spiced nuts with a few multipurpose snacks, like a mortadella tart that’s essentially an all-in-one charcuterie board, a black-eyed pea dip that transcends traditional bean dips ((but there’s also no shame in the plain hummus game), or crowd-pleasing deviled eggs.
7. Have fun
Above all, aperitivo hour should serve as a warm-up for whatever evening spread or coursed-out dinner you plan on serving. Set up a few games or even ice breaker conversation cards to get the evening started on a high note. As long as you’re relaxed and having fun, the rest will follow suit.