Creating the perfect cocktail for an aperitif: interview with Nicola Piazza

Creating the perfect cocktail for an aperitif: interview with Nicola Piazza

We asked Nicola Piazza, Martini brand ambassador, to teach us all the tricks to prepare a perfect cocktail for an aperitif at home.

How to make, even at home, the ideal cocktail to amaze friends? How many times have we asked ourselves this question without finding an answer. With the right interlocutor, however, everything becomes easier and the long-awaited answer arrives. Here is what Nicola Piazza , Martini brand ambassador, recommends , so as not to miss a single move at home and make a great impression with friends. With his tips, the aperitif time will be a walk.


Perfect cocktail even at home. What is needed?
It is enough to know a few simple rules to serve the perfect aperitif, equip yourself with the essentials, prepare a good playlist and then invite some friends.


How to choose the products to use and what can never be missing at home for those who love to prepare cocktails?
First of all, ice, the best friend of cocktails, can never be missing. The products to be used in the home bar can range from the tradition of the aperitif or look towards the novelties of the market. Whatever the choice, I would recommend never missing a wine-based aperitif and a bitter.

What tools do you need to have at your disposal for a semi-professional preparation, even if at home?
In reality very few: at home I try myself in the preparation of aperitifs without always having the professional equipment at hand. The important thing is to understand what tool you need to carry out that action. To mix as in the bar, you could use an elegant bar spoon, or alternatively, as I do, you can use the so-called wooden stick with which you eat noodles. Mix that is wonderful! Knife and cutting board aside, it would be very useful to have a jigger that can be easily replaced by a small glass or cup. In fact, it is good to remember that for a whole series of cocktails it is not so important to stick to the measures expressed in the recipe books, but to maintain their proportions. Fiero & Tonic, as well as the Americano, are prepared in equal parts, while the Negroni must maintain the parameters of one third for each of the 3 ingredients. For ice I would recommend buying one of those silicone molds from which to obtain cubes that measure a few cm per side. The cost of buying bar spoons, jiggers and ice molds is under 20 euros.


How has the way of conceiving the aperitif cocktail changed over the decades?
The aperitif in Italy was born in Turin gravitating around all that is the tradition of vermouth, bitters and amaricati wines. The Italian palate for the aperitif has always been identified by that balance that unites the bitter-sweet taste of the products just mentioned. From the vermouth consumed in Turin cafes, the Milano-Torino, a mix of vermouth and bitter, was drunk. In the early 1900s this drink, thanks to the addition of ice and soda, will take the name of Americano. In Florence, in turn, it will evolve, transforming itself into the Negroni, until its last Milanese metamorphosis in the 1980s where it will become the Wrong. Today, inspired by the traditional vermouth, we return to the discovery of simpler aperitifs such as Fiero & Tonic, easy to prepare, suitable for any time and for any palate.

What are the trends and products of the moment for a perfect cocktail?
The trend is to consume products with a lower alcohol content, with a sophisticated taste, but which at the same time are easy to approach. You drink less, better and lighter.


Cocktail, the identikit of the typical consumer. How has the aperitif audience changed over the decades?
The types of aperitif offered have changed, so the classic eaten standing at the counter with a few peanuts and chips has been accompanied by the well-known aperitif which features an abundant buffet. The new trend in bars with restaurants or large hotels is to serve appetizers paired with the aperitif signed by the chef that reflect their creativity and quality. All this variety of offer today hosts people of age groups who once saw each other less frequently at the bar for an aperitif, giving this moment a ritual and an increasingly important role in people’s social life.

Are there any cocktails that can be considered timeless?
Americano, Negroni, Martini Cocktail, to remain only in the aperitif field.

martini cocktail

Two of these symbolic cocktails are undoubtedly in the sign of Martini: Count Camillo’s Negroni which in 2019 celebrates a century of life and the James Bond Martini. How can such a global success be explained?
The most fascinating thing about cocktails is that very rare are the cases where it was possible to trace the exact moment of creation, the original recipe and in some cases even the inventor himself. Negroni, for example, is a drink that is known to have been created in the late 1920s in Florence. We do not know the certain aspects of the formulation of the very first hour: what we know from our historical archive is that the Casoni bar, where the inventor Fosco Scarselli worked, bought some Martini Rosso: we like to think that even in the Negroni that the count sipped there they were drops of our vermouth. The same story applies to the Martini Cocktail, which has undergone several changes over the years. We know it is the evolution of a cocktail called Martinezwhich was prepared with red vermouth, which then became more pungent by choosing the variant of dry vermouth. In both cases it is difficult to say what the original recipe envisaged, the fact is that Martini in the early 1900s covered 75% of the vermouth market in the States: whether the original Martinez was with the red Martini or not, that the Martini Cocktail was really with the Martini Extra Dry, however it is easy for us to think that certainly some Martinez and Martini consumed with our products have been there.


Returning to our days, Fiero, the new aperitif. Ideas and tips for using it during autumn-winter. If possible, the question might be: Fiero, the new four-season cocktail.
Absolutely yes. It is an optimistic, light, very intense aperitif. The pleasant and seductive orange flavor is accompanied by the classic bitter notes of Italian aperitifs.

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