Summer calls for good food and good company — and nothing combines the two quite like an Italian aperitivo!
Aperitivo, an Italian tradition dating back to 1786, is the ritual of having a pre-dinner drink and nibble to “open” the palate and prepare you for the meal ahead. It’s super social, it’s more than easy to prepare (and requires little to no cooking skills) and can be made in advance in a very short amount of time. Best of all, you don’t need to be in Italy to enjoy it.
Aperitivo can be enjoyed in the comfort of your home (preferably al fresco); all you need is friends and family, plenty of refreshing Aperol Spritz to hand and a couple of platters loaded with high-quality Italian ingredients and fresh veges and fruits.
While the end goal is good times shared with good friends, full bellies and lots of laughs, there is something satisfying about creating a platter that is visually impressive too.
We’ve popped together our tips for creating a yummy and Instagram-worthy aperitivo platter, that is best accompanied by an ice-cold Aperol Spritz!
1. Start with a selection of delicious cheeses.
You’ll need a few options here, concentrating on different textures and flavours to cater for all tastes. Offset mild cheese flavours like cheddar with sugary dried fruits such as figs or apricots and salty condiments like marinated olives. Strong blue cheeses are dreamy when served alongside crisp fruits like apple and pear or with sweet chutneys and fig jams. Creamy brie and camembert are complemented best with sweet fresh fruit and honey. Serve cheese at room temperature and each with its own knife.
2. Surround the cheese with an assortment of charcuterie.
We used ham, salami and prosciutto to offer a range of tastes and textures.
3. A range of bread and crackers will add visual variety.
And not to mention offer up a selection of options for your guests which will result in unique flavour combinations. Scatter the crackers across the platter area – and don’t worry about being too “perfect”.
4. Don’t forget the fresh fruit and veges!
We love pomegranate, grapes and pear to add punchy flavour. Melon, cherry tomatoes and apple are also good additions and will freshen up the palate.
5. Add the final touches.
Scatter in nuts, pretzels and dried fruits. Honeycomb is perfect for the sweet tooth (as is dark chocolate!) Garnish with rosemary and slices of orange.
6. Enjoy with a tasty Aperol Spritz.
To make one, fill a wine glass with ice, combine Prosecco with Aperol (in equal parts), add a dash of soda and garnish with an orange slice to finish. It’s the ideal drink for every social occasion and perfect on a hot summer evening!
Photos: Angie Humphreys
Styled by: Ingrid Schumann
Video Editors: Lana Byrne, Melissa Tapper
This article is brought to you in partnership with Aperol, the refreshing apéritif perfect for every social occasion.