If you’re not lucky enough to be Italian, you can always marry one like I did. 😉 My husband and I love bookending a beautiful summer meal with aperitivo and digestivo. Aperitivo is like Italy’s version of happy hour and begins with a bubbly drink to prep your palette before the meal. Digestivo is exactly how it sounds, a drink to end the meal and aid with digestion that usually incorporates bitters or amari.
So, what’s better than summer? An Italian summer! And what’s the quintessential cocktail that kicks off a season of al fresco dining and late nights? The Aperol Spritz. I styled up our new bar cart to celebrate the season and provide a little go-to for making these fun and yummy cocktails.
I fell in love with this rose gold bar cart and knew it would be perfect as a little aperitivo/digestivo station. I added a few essentials and I love how it looks. There are a million bar cart blog posts out there, and you can easily go down the Pinterest rabbit hole gawking at them all. I wanted to share ours because I don’t often see bar carts styled for a very specific purpose. Styling ours for aperitivo and digestivo really makes it feel special.
What you need for styling your own Italian summer bar cart:
Start with a sturdy bar cart that has at least a couple of shelves. You don’t have to spend a lot, but make sure it’s large enough to accommodate your needs. There’s just two of us so this smaller cart was perfect. The rose gold color is so gorgeous and I love the detail of vegan leather wrapped around the handle.
Gather a selection of aperitivo and digestivo supplies. I have Aperol, amaretto, prosecco, and sambuca. I also added some Italian sparkling water and soda. I also have some Kahlúa. I know it’s not Italian but it’s pretty good after a meal and it’s my cart so I can break the rules a little.
Fresh fruit is a must! Oranges are typical for an Aperol Spritz and lemons and limes are also great as a garnish for other cocktails.
A cocktail shaker – self explanatory.
I like to keep a couple bottle stoppers that I’ve picked up while traveling in Italy. They look much better here than sitting in a drawer.
Add something fun or whimsical like my “press for champagne” bell. Everyone wants to ring it!
You don’t have to be a pro to make an Aperol Spritz. It’s actually really easy and has minimal ingredients. We have enjoyed this beverage time and again in Italy, most recently at Terrazza Aperol in Milan. It’s a really fun terrace with a fantastic view of the cathedral and plaza below.
Aperol Spritz Recipe
3 parts prosecco
2 parts Aperol
Splash of selzer or soda
Garnish with an orange slice
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Xo – Erin
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