The tradition of the aperitif
Like many things, in Ticino the tradition of the aperitif comes from its Mediterranean ancestry. This tradition was first established in Italy, when Antonio Benedetto Carpano invented Vermouth in Turin in 1786, destined to become the quintessential aperitif drink.
In the years to come, other drinks rode the wave of success of aperitif liqueurs, resulting in the birth of bitters like Martini and Campari. At the time, the aperitif was simply a drink to be consumed before lunch or dinner to stimulate the appetite (the snacks were small: olives, savoury bites and the like) in cafés, where politicians, artists and intellectuals loved to sip as they discussed their ideas. Only towards the end of the 20th century did it take on the connotations of the American “happy hour”.