Picture this... you're sitting on a quaint cobblestone street somewhere in the Italian countryside. The sun is shining, the Italian music is playing and you're enjoying an apertivo before indulging in an authentically beautiful meal. It's a beautiful dream right? What if we told you that we had a way in which you could bring that dream to life right here at home, while also supporting your digestion and gut health? You're likely thinking it's too good to be true, but we're elated to tell you that it's not.
Our non-alcoholic Italian inspired apertivo spritz is the perfect spring and summer beverage that will instantly transport you to that quaint cobblestone street in the Italian countryside that you've been dreaming about, while also helping to improve your digestion. Made using Martini's Non-Alcoholic Vibrante and our Botanical Bitters, this drink is a fun zero-proof twist on the classic Italian ritual of apertivo hour. Because who says alcohol-free drinks can't lend the same quintessential experiences?
Let's begin by discussing the concept of apertivo. For centuries, Italians have said cheers, or "cin cin", in the afternoons and early evenings over apertifs and small bites between work and enjoying a beautiful dinner with their families and loved ones. Classic apertivo beverages include slightly bitter and botanical cocktails such as an Aperol Spritz, a Negroni or even a vermouth-based Gin Martini. Enjoying a beverage such as one of these has become an incredibly common tradition in Italian culture, not only because of its enjoyability, but also because of the benefits it can offer to our appetite and digestion.
Our botanical bitters, as well as apertivos and digestifs, are an ancient practice reimagined. Bitters, now more commonly known as aperitifs and digestifs such as Aperol or Campari as well as cocktail bitters such as Angostura, began as medicinal products that were used to aid better digestion by stimulating the appetite and digestive system. Many centuries ago it was found that by consuming bitter botanicals and herbs prior to eating, our bodies would then be better able to:
- Have a balanced appetite.
- Promote saliva and stomach secretions (such as bile and HCL), helping to break down food and support optimal nutrient absorption.
- Produce digestive enzymes for efficient and easy food breakdown.
- Avoid digestive discomfort such as nausea, bloating, abdominal pain, flatulence and more.
Once this was discovered, traditional botanical bitters (such as ours) became a pre-meal staple! But bitters are exactly what they sound like: bitter. To make the bitters more enjoyable to consume, over time, people (specifically Italians and other Europeans) began adding them to their pre-dinner cocktails and drinks, which has now led to the rise of many "bitter" liquors and cocktail ingredients such as Aperol, Campari, Vermouth and Angostura Bitters. Many of us have simply grown to enjoy the taste of these liquors, or just unknowingly associate them with certain meals, but they do serve a far more extensive benefit to us than simple enjoyment and a good time!
While we love a good apertivo, having a true and potent bitter formula with botanicals and herbs that are known to stimulate digestion can provide so much more benefit, so we've combined the two in our newest mocktail recipe! If you're looking for a non-alcoholic apertivo that can be enjoyed as you bask in the afternoon sun before dinner with your loved ones and help to support better digestion, then here's the recipe for you:
You'll begin with a glass of your choosing and some ice, then simply add 2-3oz of Martini's Vibrante NA Apertivo and 2-3ml of Daydream Organics Botanical Bitters for added gut and digestive benefit. To finish it off, top it with your favourite sparkling water (we love the La Croix Limoncello flavour) and a spritz of fresh lemon juice! Give it a stir, find some sun, turn on some traditional Italian music and transport yourself into a daydream-like place of tranquility, amusement, simplicity and a healthier gut.