By Amanda Gabriele
July 30, 2019
Courtesy of Augustus Harris

It’s a special year for Aperol, as the Italian liqueur is celebrating its 100th birthday in 2019. Aperol was created by brothers Luigi and Silvio Barbieri and launched at the Padua International Fair in 1919. When naming the citrus- and herb-infused liqueur, they were inspired by the French term for aperitif, “Apéro,” and the recipe has remained unchanged to this day. But it wasn’t until the 1950s that the Aperol Spritz cocktail become popular in Italy’s Veneto region. The drink is an important symbol for the Italian way of life, a signal to slow down and savor an aperitivo moment over food and drinks with family and friends.

While the mix of Aperol, Prosecco and soda water is simple to make at home, it’s even more fun to sip one over salty snacks at a classic cafe. These 10 spots around the globe are some of our favorite places to grab an Aperol Spritz and watch the world go by.

Gran Caffè Diemme — Padua, Italy

For a taste of history along with your Spritz, pay a visit to the city where it all began. While there are plenty of cafes in Padua that serve up excellent versions of the drink, we’re partial to Gran Caffè Diemme, a modern cocktail den that serves up tasty shareable plates and antipasti to go along with Italian libations. Situate yourself at the bar and snack on Cantabrian Sea anchovies with butter and burrata while you sip on the classic cocktail.

Aperitivo Bar at La Centrale — Miami

Italian food hall La Centrale opened last year in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood, serving up 40,000 square feet of restaurants, bars, caffès, markets and a wine shop. While there are four different bars to choose from, we’re partial to the Art Deco-inspired Aperitivo Bar, a space that perfectly fuses Miami vibes with Italian cocktails. While you can get your Aperol Spritz fix anytime, we suggest popping in for the daily aperitivo hour when cocktails — and snacks like spicy chicken wings — are all $5.

Augustus Harris — London

Inspired by Venetian bàcari, which are small wine bars where people gather for pre-dinner drinks and snacks, this Covent Garden spot will transport you to the canal-lined city. Augustus Harris serves an excellent Aperol Spritz — along with a solid selection of Italian wines — to go with crostini, bruschette, and fine cheeses and salumi from small producers. Grab a sidewalk table for some optimal afternoon people watching.

Dante — New York City

This Italian restaurant and bar is a New York City classic. The original Caffe Dante opened its doors in 1915, and it served as a home to everyone from Italian immigrants to artists like Patti Smith and Ernest Hemingway. Now Dante is number 9 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list and has an entire menu dedicated to Italian drinks, as well as delicious small plates and handmade pastas that are perfect for sharing. Order an Aperol Spritz on tap that’s perfectly garnished with an almond-stuffed olive.

DiVino Wine Bar & Restaurant — Hong Kong

Hong Kong has become a hub for cocktail enthusiasts during the past decade, so it’s an easy place to find any type of classic cocktail you crave. If you’re in the mood for Italian fare and libations, DiVino Wine Bar & Restaurant, helmed by Chef Michele Senigaglia, is where to get your fix. We suggest popping into this spot for their late afternoon menu where you can snack on a hand-tossed mini-pizza and sip on an Aperol Spritz, whether you go for the classic formula or spring for DiVino’s signature version that adds Campari to the mix.

 

Il Marchese — Rome

This stunning, light-filled space is adorned in stucco and velvet to give it an elegant, old-world European feel. Il Marchese specializes in amari and aperitivi and stocks hundreds of bottles that will appeal to every type of palate. Come early for an Aperol Spritz and small plates like arancini and beef tartare, then stay for expertly prepared pastas and dishes like octopus puttanesca.

Pink Bar at Stamba Hotel — Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi is an up-and-coming destination that should be on every adventurer’s bucket list, and Stamba Hotel is a must visit when exploring Georgia’s capital city. The building used to house the country’s most important printing house and features design details like atriums and courtyards for guests to enjoy. Visit the hotel’s Pink Bar, a colorful space crowned by a massive crystal chandelier that serves everything from Aperol Spritzes to Georgian Limoncello.

Giulietta — Toronto

Toronto has one of the largest Italian populations outside of Italy, so it’s full of great restaurants and bars that offer authentic food and drink from the old country. One of our favorites is Giulietta, a stylish trattoria serving the city’s Dufferin Grove neighborhood. Pull up to the bar for an expertly-made Aperol Spritz and plate of crunchy, salty calamari fritti.

La Alacena — Buenos Aires

Julieta Oriolo and Mariana Bauzá met each other in cooking school and later decided to open their Italian-inspired restaurant La Alacena. The sunny space offers homemade pastas, grilled panini and refreshing drinks like the Spritz, along with lovely desserts and pastries. After getting your fill of bubbles on the restaurant side, pop into the bakery next door and pick up goodies for tomorrow’s breakfast.

Caffe Fernet — Singapore

While this Singapore cafe might be named after another Italian liqueur, the Aperol Spritz is alive and well within its walls. Here you can expect to find Italian-inspired dishes (go for the mafaldine cacio e pepe) and drinks, properly chilled with hand-cut, branded ice. Pop in for the daily happy hour at Caffe Fernet when refreshing drinks and savory bites are served at a discount.

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