Cocktails of Tuscany

In North America, sparkling wine is generally reserved for special occasions. However the average Tuscan happy hour has bubbly apéritifs flowing on the regular. Apéritifs are specialized alcohols enjoyed in small amounts intended to stimulate the appetite before a meal, while similarly consumed digestifs are savoured after eating to aid with digestion. While the dryness and sweetness of these drinks respectively increase our appetite and settle our full stomachs, most North Americans who partake in the sipping ritual consider it more of a sophisticated cultural practice than science-based health regimen.

Prosecco, Campari, Aperol and vermouth make up the backbone of many Italian classics that guests of our Tuscan Culinary Adeventure will be getting well acquainted with next fall. Here are a few of our favourite palate-cleansing cocktails that we can’t wait to sip as we watch the sun fade over the rolling vineyards of Chianti.

Aperol Spritz

Aperol

– 1½ oz. Aperol
– 2 oz. prosecco or other dry sparkling wine
– splash of soda
– slice of orange to garnish

Nothing beats the refreshing balance of sweetness and slight bitterness in a nice Aperol spritz on a warm sunny day. Aperol has a uniquely tangy taste – a mix of bitter and sweet orange, and rhubarb earthiness. This dense citrus with the light crisp bubbles of nationally loved prosecco make for a beautiful combination. The simple addition of soda makes this zesty cocktail enjoyable at any hour of the day.

Negroni Sbagliato

negronisbagliato

– 1½ oz. Campari
– 1½ oz. sweet vermouth
– 3 oz. prosecco
– orange wedge to garnish

While a classic Negroni is made with gin, the sbagliato version (which translates roughly as “mistaken” or “wrong”) uses sparkling wine to counteract the bitter, aromatic intensity of Campari. Using extra dry prosecco keeps the sweet bubbly-ness subtle, maintaining the original Negroni’s sophisticated composure.

 

Sgroppino

sgroppino


– 1⁄3 cup lemon sorbet

– 3 oz. prosecco
– 1 oz. vodka

This boozy slushie functions in many ways: palate-cleanser, pre-dinner drink or a refreshing dessert. Whisking together lemon sorbet with vodka (a classic combination) and adding in some local prosecco, this frothy libation is bound to make an appearance at either our Tuscan BBQ-style dinner or villa-bound pizza party!

 

Gin Lambrusco Fizz

ginlambruscofizz


– 2 oz. gin

– 1 oz. lime juice
– ½ oz. of simple syrup
– 1 cup ice
– float 1 ½ ounces of Lambrusco over top by using the back of a spoon

If sweet wine isn’t your thing, Lambrusco is the Italian dry wine for you. This fizzy red was a big export during the 1970s, and while mockingly referred to as purple wine-soda, the comeback of more serious varieties has proven itself in more sophisticated versions of Sangria or Mimosas. Of course, originating from one of the most sought after foodie havens of of Italy, Emilia-Romanga, Lambrusco’s complex fruitiness puts an uplifting Italian twist in this typical gin fizz.

Now that you know what you’re drinking, you’re basically all set for our Tuscan Culinary Adventure. Let us take care of the details while you relax and enjoy the must-have tastes and sites of the Italian countryside. Check out our early bird rates here!

To book, contact our dedicated travel professional Clara Power: