Here’s some local trivia for you; for all it’s Irish appearance, Southend Hotel is actually owned by Italians. Gina our GM is Italian, and Greg (her husband) thinks of himself as an honorary Italian too. We love all things Italy… but especially the wine, the food, the wine, the food, and the wine some more. Oh… and the food. So here we are bringing a little bit of Italian culture to your evenings.
Back in the 1800’s, in Turin Italy, the folks took to drinking something pre-dinner as a way of whetting their appetite. Traditionally, this was a dry vermouth (a wine derivative invented in Turin in 1796 by Antonio Carpano). We recommend something dry or bitter like a Campari or a Vermouth (or both at once as an Americano), but really anything will do. The point is you’ve finished your day, and you’re ready to relax.
You’ve heard of mindfulness, right? Aperitivo is mindful drinking. It’s bringing a sense of ritual to your afternoon tipple, involving all the senses of taste and texture and touch. It’s slowing things down. It’s gratitude and appreciation for your wine, grown by fourth generation farmers in the McLaren Vale. For your small batch G&T, and all those British colonialists that were saved by quinine. For your tequila, and all those happy little Mexicans that made it.
If we’ve done our job right, your first aperitivo will have you wanting another. And your second will have you looking at our menu, and from there – well… our bistro is open until 8:30pm! Buon’appetito.
“Aperitivo” is the Italian practice of relaxing in the early evening with a glass of wine or a cocktail, and enjoying some tasty snacks to stimulate the appetite before dinner. The word itself is derived from the Latin word for “opener”, meaning “a way to open a meal”.
It’s a way of life in Italy, marking the end of the working day and the beginning of the evening, conjuring up feelings of relaxation and wellbeing.
In Italy, locals typically enjoy bite-sized quantities of meats, cheese, olives and traditional breads such as bruschetta and focaccia to whet the appetite.
Washed down with a glass of local wine or a cocktail based on a traditional spirit like Campari, it is the perfect way to wind down after a busy day.
You can replicate this relaxing experience here at the Southend Hotel, where you will receive tasty complementary nibbles with every glass of wine or cocktail between 5pm and 7pm.
Traditional Italian fare served as aperitivo is designed to stimulate the taste buds and prepare you for a dinner later in the evening.
Because the typical Italian cocktail base is somewhat bitter – think Campari or Vermouth – complementary tastes tend to be savoury and salty. So, at aperitivo, expect to enjoy nuts, olives, cold cuts of meat, crudités with dips and even small portions of pasta.
You can also enjoy aperitivo with a glass of Italian wine. For a dry, fruity burst of flavour sample a Chianti, or, for a glass of fizz with floral and creamy notes, you can’t beat a Lambrusco. Both work perfectly for aperitivo and will leave you wanting more!