As always, change starts at home. You can try organizing your own aperitivo hour among friends, which aside from the company, assures that your Prosecco bottle won’t be three-quarters full and flat in the morning. Serve the best potato chips you can find, and make a reservation at a nearby restaurant with fare hearty enough to satisfy Aperol-lined stomachs. Introduce a little atmosphere by playing some of those dreamy Italian cinema scores, perhaps the theme fromCamille 2000.
That’s not to say it must always be a party. To truly own the ritual, mix it into the most mundane of afternoons. Simplify it by substituting the more-involved Aperol Spritz with any low-proof Italian bitter and soda water, or high-quality vermouth over ice. You’ll find that waiting for Chinese delivery with your phone in your hand doesn’t feel quite the same as waiting for Chinese delivery with a chilled glass of aromatized wine at your lips.
If you now feel inclined to fix an aperitivo yourself, follow the recipe below to make a Cappelletti Spritz. It follows the classic 3-2-1 ratio of an Aperol Spritz but swaps out the title spirit for Cappelletti, a red wine-based aperitif that splits the difference between the orangey sweetness of Aperol and the bitter tang of Campari.
3 ounces Prosecco (the drier, the better)
2 ounces Cappelletti
1 ounce Soda Water (the fizziest you can find)
Pour Cappelletti into a long-stemmed wine glass and top with prosecco and soda water. Add a handful of thick ice cubes and lightly stir. Garnish with an orange wedge, a speared green olive, or both.