Italian dinner drinks are a major part of the Italian dinner experience. Whether it is having a drink at the legendary Harry’s Barry in Venice or merely sitting around the dining room table enjoying drinks with friends, food and wine (and other Italian beverages) just go together.
Signor Giuseppe Cipriani, the former owner of the famous Harry’s Bar, is credited with many things. One is the invention of Carpaccio, thinly sliced raw beef that has become a popular delicacy in many fine restaurants. He is also credited with one of popular Italian dinner drinks, Bellini. This champagne cocktail is designed to help put the guests at ease while they are waiting for the meal to be prepared. While “champagne cocktail” is the usually description, this drink features a sparkling wine, preferably an Italian prosecco. The bartender then will mix in a puree of white peaches. These can be blended by hand or bought commercially.
The order of Italian dinner drinks is much like other places of the world. The meal starts with an aperitivi designed to stimulate the appetite. When the food arrives, wine is served as a compliment to the various dishes. The smart host will have both red and white on hand to compliment the various courses being served. Water, of course, should be readily available. You can use bottled or sparkling water if you desire, but in many cases tap water works just as well for the purpose – cleansing the palate and keeping the person hydrated so that they do not feel the effects of the alcohol as strongly. After dinner, coffee and digestivi are designed to help settle the stomach and aid with digestion.
Other Famous Drinks
Some of the most famous drinks around the world are actually Italian dinner drinks, having originated from the Italian high society. For instance, the vermouths of Martini and Cinzano both come from the city of Turin. Martini has been around since the 19th century, whereas Cinzano has been around since the 18th century. Another invention of the 19th century, this time from Milan, is Campari, an infusion of herbs and fruit in alcohol and water.
Making The Evening Last Longer
If you are looking to a short end to your Italian dinner, one of the popular Italian dinner drinks is a cup of espresso. This can bring the proceedings to a stop at the table if you are looking at other entertainment for the evening. If you prefer that your guests sit around the table a while longer, then a digestivi is another option. Popular choices are Calabrian vecchio amaro, Campania’s limoncello, flaming sambuca, and other grappas for the guests to sip on while they chat.
Another option for the after dinner drinks is to combine the digestivi together. This creates a caffe corretto, which literally means coffee corrected with alcohol. If you prefer a more elegant end to your dinner, then a glass of vin santo accompanied by an almond biscuit is the preference of many Tuscans.