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The Italian summer holiday, Ferragosto, is one of our favorite times of the year and we like to toast it with these Italian aperitivo drink recipes!
Ferragosto is a summer holiday that happens every August 15th, and even when we’re not in Italy, we celebrate. Like 4th of July in the United States, the whole country of Italy seemingly takes the day off to celebrate Ferragosto. For most people, that means escaping the summer heat and heading to Italian beaches with friends and Italian cocktails.
Italian Happy Hour
The reality is that we do not wait for our annual Ferragosto celebration to enjoy classic Italian cocktails. Rather we turn to these classic Italian cocktail drinks whenever we want to channel aperitivo (aka Italian happy hour) vibes.
To be honest, if there’s an excuse for Italian aperitivo cocktails, we’re all about it. And we’re pretty sure we’re not alone because one of the most popular activities time and again on our boutique group trip to Italy is the classic Italian cocktail class.
Ten Italian Aperitivo Drink Cocktail Recipes
So here are 10 Italian cocktails that are perfect aperitivo drinks. They’re a mix of classic Italian cocktails and some modern ones, but they are all cocktails we love and that you should enjoy, even if you’re not traveling to Italy anytime soon!
It’s basically illegal to talk about Italy in the summertime without talking about the classic Spritz. Though this popular Italian drink was created in Northern Italy, you now find it all over made with either Campari (our personal favorite) or Aperol.
As known as a white Spritz, this super light Spritz combines elderflower, bubbly wine, and lots of citrus and herbs. It’s a true Italian classic you can’t miss this summer.
We’re always on the hunt for the perfect summer cocktail to fight off the August heat and this variation on the classic Aperol Spritz cocktail adds in fresh watermelon juice and some ginger juice for a super refreshing twist.
Seriously though, both Aperol and Campari go really well with fresh watermelon juice, which is why we also use it here in this Campari Watermelon Cooler cocktail that’s as easy to make as it is delicious.
To be honest, the classic Negroni cocktail — a mix of equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari — is too strong for us in the summertime. Instead, we opt for a Negroni Sbagliato cocktail where the gin is swapped out for another one of our favorite mixers: bubbly Prosecco wine!
Speaking of Campari, our other favorite twist on the Negroni is the Americano. A bit lighter than the traditional recipe, this version swaps out the gin for soda water.
Made with Italian rose wine, orange liqueur, and the bittersweet Cocchi Americano, this is the way we do Sangria with Italian vibes.
Sure, this is not your classic Italian cocktail,, but the tinge of bitter makes it one of our favorite ways to serve Aperol.
When it’s too hot to think, we make our drinks frozen! And one popular drink that is particularly delicious frozen is this Bellini.
And when we do take our Bellinis unfrozen, we like to add a bit of lavender for a floral twist on the popular Italian summertime drink.
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Photo Credit: Liubov Burakova