Armani; Versace; Prada. Deeply rooted in Italian history, it’s names such as these that have shaped the extensive fashionable culture of the Mediterranean country. Known for innovation and a uniquely bold approach to design, while the fashion industry has become defined by such icons, similarly, hospitality has also been shaped by Italian innovators. It proves that good taste never goes out of style and for that we can thank the men behind Aperol.
The year was 1919 and after years of devastating war, the Veneto metropolis of Padua was expanding its humble, cobblestone laneways into a booming cosmopolitan city of trade and wealth. In a new era of peace amongst the city, the modern trend of pre-dinner Aperitif drinks became fashionable. Found in Italian restaurants, back-alley eateries as well as in family kitchens, amongst the diners were brothers Luigi and Silvio Barbieri who looked to create a beverage unique to their hometown. Although long claiming to be the oldest city in northern Italy, these proud sons of Padua immortalised the modernity of the city with a light, bittersweet aperitif.
As it is known today, the unique concoction of zesty orange top notes and herbal woody body notes that forms Aperol was officially launched at the 1919 Padua International Fair – an important world trade event and exhibition devoted to food, travel and lifestyle. Two decades later, in the 1940’s, World War II struck the city of Padua, and the years after were dedicated to rebuilding and revisiting the history of the Barbieri’s family business. The iconic factory received a series of technical updates and so, a modern era of the orange beverage had begun.
By technical bartender definition, spritzing is the act of adding sparking water – and the case of Aperol, Prosecco – to wine, beer and a range of aperitif and liqueurs. Growing to popularity in a more modern era of the ‘70s and ‘80s, the order of the spritz signifies the gathering of friends, family and in our case, a damn good time. If you listen closely, you can hear the quintessential creation of Italy’s favourite beverage: the distinctive clink of ice hitting the bottom of the glass, a splash of Aperol, a pour of fizzing Prosecco and an additional splash of soda water.
Here’s a toast to 100 years of Aperol. Gather your friends for an Italian feast and celebrate aperitif hour with an Aperol Spritz here.