The lobby bar of the Patria Palace Hotel in Lecce stands like an altar for cocktails and all those exotic Italian Aperitifs. In a land where there may be more altars per capita than any where else we were happy to worship at this one, enjoyed on our recent trip to Italy.
You probably already know an Apéritif or Aperitivo is an herbal alcoholic beverage usually served before a meal to stimulate the appetite. The word comes from the Latin verb aperire, which means “to open.” Worthy of that root, they are colorful and lusciously stimulating and so much to enjoy.
It was still early in the day so we refrained and just sipped some delicious prosecco which is the base of perhaps the most famous Italian cocktail/aperitivo, the Bellini.
Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Harry's Bar in Venice, Italy created the Bellini in the early part of the last century sometime in the late 30's it is believed.
Read more on Mano A Vino.