Cooking & Entertaining

Aperitivo: The Cocktail Culture of Italy

Kick off the evening as the Italians do, with these recipes for drinks and small dishes from the best bars and restaurants of Venice, Milan, Turin, and beyond. Aperitivo takes the reader on a spirited ride through this cocktail culture, covering variations on all the classics including the Negroni, the Bellini, and the spritz and stopping at the chicest bars that have elevated this ritual to an art form. Many of the drinks are structured around vermouths and other botanical-infused liqueurs, which offer a new world of complex flavors. They yield enticingly simple cocktails that refresh—without stunning the palate (thanks to a lighter alcohol content). But Aperitivo is just as much about the food because in Italy, drinking and eating go hand in hand. Recipes feature fried sage leaves, oven-roasted eggplant, and carbonara tramezzini, as well as many delicious riffs on crostini, frittata, and focaccia. Whether planning a party or just having a friend over for a quick drink, Aperitivo brings a whole new spirit of conviviality and true Italian style to the occasion.

About The Author

Marisa Huff is a James Beard–nominated writer whose work has appeared in La Cucina ItalianaWine & Spirits, and The Art of Eating. She lives in Padua with her husband.

Joe Bastianich is an American restaurateur, TV personality, and author of Restaurant Man. He is the coowner of the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group as well as Eataly throughout the Americas.

Andrea Fazzari is an international photographer who specializes in portraiture, travel, and the culinary world. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Departures, and Saveur. A seasoned world-traveler and consultant, she resides in Tokyo.

  • Publish Date: April 19, 2016
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Cooking - Entertaining
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 7-1/8 x 10-1/2
  • Pages: 224
  • US Price: $35.00
  • CDN Price: $35.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-4744-0


“Marisa Huff’s delightful book captures the simple joy of delicious Italian aperitivi and the snacks that are paired with them. An easy-to-use guide to living la dolce vita.”
Mario Batali, chef, restaurateur, entrepreneur
“Marisa Huff explores the eccentricities that differentiate the culture, history, and ingredients of Italy's regional aperitivi in concise, expertly written recipes that showcase her mastery of a subject that lacked a credible American perspective until now. In addition to being the most useful cookbook in my bar, Aperitivo is the most valuable collection of canonical Italian cocktails in print today.”
Jim Meehan, author of The PDT Cocktail Book
“Part insider travel guide, part party planner, part intrepid recipe resource, Marisa Huff's Aperitivo is the ultimate handbook to inspired Italian entertaining. It's stylish and sophisticated, and, just like the cocktails that fill its pages, it whets your appetite for more!”
Gail Simmons, food expert, TV host, and author of Talking with My Mouth Full
“Marisa Huff has brilliantly curated and adapted drinks—as well as savory small bites—from many of the best aperitivo spots in Italy. An inspiring combination of recipes and superb instruction, this book expertly conveys why the Italian aperitivo as an experience is so much greater than the sum of its parts.”
Joe Bastianich, restaurateur, TV host, and author of Restaurant Man

"You've heard of armchair traveler guidebooks. Well, this inspiring, la-dolce-vita volume is more of a bar-chair travel guidebook. Think a travelogue of Italy's Happy Hour. . . [Aperitivo] allures readers page by glossy page through a spirited tour of Italy's top regional and urban drinking destinations - from Turin to Venice, from Milan to Rome, and plenty 'farther afield' establishments in between."

"Part cookbook and part cocktail book, Aperitivo is a beautifully photographed, city-by-city look at that all-important sliver of time between work and dinnertime and the culture of drinking that has proliferated within it."

"This book is a delight. This book is important. And, if you love Italian food, this is the book you have to own, read, use, and tote on that next trip to Italy. Getting through life gracefully involves just a few things — money and love aside. You need exactly three things: some good food, delightful beverages, and a guiding principal. Happily those three are here in the pages of Aperitivo."