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Aperitivo milanese

The Milanese aperitif of Pasticceria Marchesi 1824

The aperitif is a very Italian and especially Milanese custom. Born at the end of the eighteenth century in Turin, it quickly became a consolidated tradition of Milan for celebrating the conclusion of every work day. The Milanese aperitif of Marchesi 1824 combines the barmen’s best drinks such as the iconic Marchesi Cocktail with an assortment of savoury canapés and snacks. 

Evening cocktails and other drinks — mostly made with vermouth, vegetable bitters, or aged wines — are combined with savoury treats that have the sole purpose of pampering yourself before the evening meal. This is the aperitif.

Much more than a simple opportunity to whet your appetite, the aperitif is a real cultural and gastronomic movement that unites many Italians and, above all, the Milanese. This brilliant idea of Antonio Benedetto Carpano, the inventor of vermouth, began back in 1786 in a small liquor shop of Turin. The aperitif craze quickly spread to Milan where, from the early twentieth century and through the vibrant social scene of the eighties, it became a favourite ritual of all the bars in Milan, rightfully considered the Italian capital of the aperitif.

Immediately charmed by this new wave, Angelo Marchesi, the first owner of Pasticceria Marchesi, introduced the aperitif in the 1930s in his historic pastry shop on via Santa Maria alla Porta, which was immediately recognized as one of Milan’s iconic spots for an aperitif. Alongside cakes and other delicacies, small savoury canapés made their triumphal entry on the pastry counter together with polibibite a base di bevande spiritose — i.e., mixed drinks made from alcoholic beverages, the Italian autarkic name for cocktails — all made with the same attention to detail and immense love for the ingredients that the pastry chef put into each of his creations.

Marchesi 1824 still celebrates the tradition of the Milanese aperitif today through an assortment of exquisite pastry — delicious mille-feuille, cream horns, cream puffs, and savoury tartlets — that accompanies the most popular signature cocktails for the occasion such as the spritz or the iconic Marchesi Cocktail.

The pre-dinner drink invented by Marchesi 1824 is made with Bitter Martini, Carpano Classico Vermouth, Tanqueray Gin, and Biancosarti expertly mixed by our barmen to give the palate the perfect experience: a dry drink where sweet and bitter flavours are absolutely balanced, underlining the complex aromatic floral, spicy, and botanical notes of its ingredients. 

The aperitif of Pasticceria Marchesi 1824 is a magical moment to be enjoyed in the eighteenth-century spaces of the historic pastry shop on via Santa Maria alla Porta; in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, where you can admire a striking view of 'Milan's Parlour’; in the comfortable shop on via Monte Napoleone, an oasis of tranquillity amidst the hustle and bustle of the luxury fashion district; and in London at 117 Mount Street in the exclusive Mayfair district.