Things To Do: Prendiamo un aperitivo! - Aperol Spritz Socials

Monday, July 11, 2016

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Italians have a reputation for doing it better; cuisine and socialising especially. Combining the two is Aperitivo: the 250 year old tradition of celebrating the end of the work day over drinks, nibbles, and convivial vibes. Think Afternoon Tea but less posh, more cosmopolitan, and not so bland. (Did we just diss the Great British institution that is Afternoon Tea? Oops!) Anyhow, we had the pleasure of participating in Aperitivo with a hands-on twist. We have the verdict. So if you’re looking for things to do in London this summer, scroll on, prendiamo un aperitivo!

From Mondays - Saturdays and until August 31st, the roof at Bird of Smithfield is home to the Aperol Spritz Terrazza. On ‘Aperitivo Tuesdays’ you can enjoy complimentary small plates with your splashes of orange, which to us, is sufficient fuel for summertime shenanigans! But remember that earlier we mentioned a hands-on twist? 

For the more curious among you, there are the social events: in which Aperol Spritz teams up with an array of London culture makers including Forza Win and The School of Life, to offer a series of interactive workshops.

We attended one of the social events in collaboration with Italian supper club, Forza Win. That evening, British weather had alternative ideas about the meaning of summer so we couldn’t congregate on the rooftop but spirits were far from dampened. Our host, Loris, announced that “Aperitivo is the celebration of the end of the work day. We’re gonna celebrate, we’re gonna have fun tonight!” He was a lean, magnetic man with an electrifying voice, one couldn’t help but be compelled by his energy. We gathered in the centre of the room and lent our ears to our host. 

Loris Contro, host with the most, and brand man at Campari group.
Learning the origin story of Aperitivo.
Loris opened talks on the history and contemporary tradition of Aperitivo. He followed with a demonstration on how to make the perfect aperitivo beverage, an Aperol Spritz which has a mildly bitter taste with notes of citrus, rhubarb, and herbs. It’s a playful drink. Picking up on that playfulness, there was a competition on who among us could make the swiftest and finest glass.

The finalists showing a little competitive spirit.
Spectating the sports.
The taste test. A fellow guest fancied himself as a connoisseur of cocktails and so judged each drink.
Results came in, Zoe was the swiftest and the finest bartender! She won a bottle of Aperol to take home.
After the spritz sports we took to the Chef’s table to meet Bash Redford - founder of the supper club, Forza Win. At his table was a spread of ingredients, we went about oohing and ahhing at their vivid fragrances before Bash suggested we try them. At one point he brought a case of pickled onions right up to us and instructed “pick one out and taste it!” For all of three seconds there was panic over how messy it could potentially be and the prospect of pickled breath. Finally lifting onion slices to our lips, they were perfectly piquant and the Chef praised our nimble finger work. Returning to his side of the table, he continued teaching us how to make an assortment of small plates to complement our drinks.

Serving a piece of crostini: whipped butter beans with garlic, grilled veg, and toasted almonds on sourdough.
Panzanella: sweet datterini tomatoes, stale bread, pink onions, garnished with basil.
48 day aged rump steak served with salsa verde.
The food excited the tastebuds and we didn’t have to worry about aforementioned pickle breath for too long. Aperol attracts a crowd of easygoing, fun people whom it is a delight to share the aperitivo experience with. If you're interested, you can visit the Aperol Spritz Terrazza at virtually anytime throughout the summer. Click here for a refresher on opening times or scroll to the end of this post for details on the next workshop with Forza Win.

Zoe enjoying her panzanella
Convivial vibes.
Arrivederci, amici!
 If you liked this post, we would definitely recommend that you check out the next social event "Spritz Suppers: a Chef's table with Forza Win" on July 20th 2016. 

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  1. just wanted to say every time I read your blog it's like going on a mini holiday . Definitely want to go to this social with my boyfriend after work now. Really good post so keep it up - Louisa xx

    1. Oh, that's a great compliment Louisa! Thanks for taking the time to read. The next social is on July 20th so register as soon as you can, I've hyperlinked the registration form for you here. I hope you get a space and enjoy the evening.

      Esmé Xo

  2. Will definitely have to check this out when I move back to London (after 5 months in Italy) and year abroad nostalgia kicks in. Must have had at least 50 Aperol Spritzes while I've been here!

    1. Hey Fedora. Thanks for stopping by the blog. I'm sure your year abroad is going delightfully with that number, I'm envious! Fortunately, so many restaurants and bars here do serve Aperol Spritzes so you won't have to miss out. London looks forward to receiving you!

      Esmé Xo