Long before they became fashionable in Australia, aperitivo drinks established themselves as a beverage genre especially close to my heart. So I wrote a story about them for my Eating Out column.
I still remember the first time I ever tried a spritz. It was late summer in Verona, northern Italy, circa 1999 when my admirably well-versed Aussie-Italian cousin, Fiona introduced me to the joys of drinking bitter, fizzy things while eating salty snacks and observing the passing parade of well-grooed locals in Verona's Piazza Bra.
Almost 20 years later, I'm still loving a spritz (always Campari, never Aperol), annnnnnd a Negroni, an Americano, a Cocchi on ice, a vermouth and soda. There's just something so laidback, lighthearted and social about aperitivo drinks. It's never about getting smashed and it's always something – a bit like coffee – you do with a friend as a way to catch up.