Today I want to talk about something that for us, Italians, is a real MUST… happy hour!!! It is always a special occasion to stay with friends and family and spend some time together with a cocktail and fanciful tastes.
The perfect moment to meet new people and to avoid cooking after a day spent working…but what are the origins of happy hour? Not everyone knows that in 1786 in a small lab in Piazza Castello in Turin, Carpano invented Vermuth (or Vermouth). It became the essential ingredient for many cocktails, just like Martini.
The happy hour ritual is ancient and throughout the years it became bigger, not only something to eat before dinner, like some olives, but a real meal, very similar to the Spanish tapas. Every city has its traditions, from Campari to Spritz and Negroni.
Aperitivo con le Pinelle
If you find yourselves in Milan, the capital of the Italian aperitivo, you can really choose among tons of places… take a walk in the Navigli area…you can choose between a real fish market – bistro like “I pesciolini” or Mag Cafè, where cocktails are amazing. And then, walking around the Navigli area also means discovering the heart of Milan, among ateliers and workshops, artists and typical houses from the old Milan. And if Milan is the capital of apericena (happy hour + dinner), in my beloved Rome you can find some places as well…like the Tree Bar, a place immersed in a green area with nice food and relax, or you can go to Freni e Frizioni, a classic in Tarstevere, in the art of Rome’s movida.
But if you don’t feel like going out, then why don’t you invite your friends over and prepare some nice snacks? A homemade happy hour can be inviting and funny too!
You can prepare many mini recipes like skewers with mozzarella and basil, or some fresh watermelon tarts… try also bruschetta with black bread and some feta cheese with mint. Mh…delicious… ???
And if you feel inspired, then surrender to the Spanish atmosphere by preparing some tapas: just buy some Jamon Serrano, some grilled prawns and potatoes with bravas sauce, made with tomatoes, salt, flour, vinegar and…chili! But also pizza and pies, just buy some puff pastry and fill it up with tasty things like diced prosciutto and mozzarella. Make it crispy…and then I love croissants instead of bread, fill them with arugula and tomatoes.
To drink? I prefer something non-alcoholic, a cocktail with some fresh fruit, with apple, pineapple and strawberries. How many ideas, quick, easy and especially funny! And you Pinelle? What do you prepare for a homemade happy hour?