In Italy, drinking is thought of as a moment of pleasureto take a break from a long day of work and as a treat. Most Florentines’s favourite alcoholic drink is a glass of red wine to complement dinner or an aperitif cocktail to have with nibbles. Of course, as a traveller willing to discover the local culture, there are several options you can go for. Let’s discover together what to drink in Florence!
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Wine is the most popular alcoholic drink in Italy. In Tuscany, both red and white wine are produced, though red wine from the Chianti and Val D’Orcia areas are perhaps the ones people drink the most in Florence.
Italians usually have wine during their meal and sometimes during aperitif. If you’re not sure what to go for at a restaurant, just ask for ‘vino della casa’ (‘house wine’), which is usually the cheapest wine of average quality. Otherwise, you can pick a wine from the wine menu and ask the waiter for advice. Wine is served in a glass, a quarter of a litre (‘un quarto’), half a litre (‘mezzo litro’) or a bottle.
You can have wine in restaurants, or if you want to learn more about wine or expand your palate, you could try wine tasting at a local wine house or a wine cellar in the Tuscan countryside.
Aperol Spritz, commonly known as simply ‘Spritz’, is most Italians’ favourite aperitif drink. It’s made of Aperol, Prosecco, and fizzy water or seltz (a stronger fizzy water). Spritz is drunk during aperitif (‘aperitivo’ or ‘apericena’) with nibbles such as crisps and nuts or with a dish of pasta. It’s a summer-y drink that you can enjoy sitting outside.
In Italy, aperitif is a widespread tradition and there are plenty of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks you can try. Some common drinks are Bellini, Aperol Spritz, Prosecco, Negroni, Martini Dry, Campari and more.
If you’d like to go for a more typical cocktail, some of the most common ones are Mojito, Whiskey Sour, Margarita, Sex on the Beach, Malibu, Long Island and more. If you’re not sure which drink to go for, you can always ask the bar tender for advice or for them to make a customized drink (for example, a sweet fruity drink).
Florentines often have aperitif in the areas of San Niccolò and Santo Spirito, which are full of modern bars and tiny, hidden cafes.
Vin santo (‘holy wine’) is a Florentine speciality and is a so-called ‘ammazza caffè’ (literally ‘coffee killer’), a spirit you have after lunch or dinner is over and you’ve had your espresso. You usually drink a small glass of vin santo with almond biscuits, called ‘cantuccini’, which you dip in the wine to soften them. You can try vin santo at a restaurant after lunch or dinner.
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