Insta perfectionist or last-minute legend? Here’s how to host the perfect Italian-inspired drinks party | The sublime time – aperitivo hour

September 8, 2020

The nights are long, the days are warm and at long last, lockdown is lifting a little. And while the chances of us getting to bask in the Italian sun this summer are still fairly slim, you can bring the glamour and fun – and the joys of aperitivo hour – of the Amalfi coast right to your home. But wait! Not sure if you remember how to host like a boss? No matter, whatever your hosting game, we’ve got you covered. Andiamo subito – let’s get this party started …

For the picture-perfectionist
For you, an Italian themed drinks party is nothing without scenes worthy of a #regram by Vogue Italia. Your linen napkins, handmade by a nonna in Ravello, are of a hue chosen specifically to match the Malfy Gin Rosa & Tonic you’ll be serving in a cut crystal glass you picked up while on holiday on the Amalfi coast, which you’ll position on the table next to some artfully arranged antipasti from the local deli. A word of warning though, pretty as a picture is all well and good, but a real Italian evening is all about relaxed fun – get your Insta shot before your guests arrive, and then it’s time to chill out. Nobody wants to be shouted at for disturbing the equilibrium of your Nocellara olives.

For the serial snack skipper
Yes, the quality of your cocktails is an imperative part of the evening – but an Italian drink without an appropriate snack to accompany it? Neanche per sogno! The art of aperitivo hour lies in the plate as much as it does in the glass. So even as you perfect the exact measures for your Malfy Gin Rosa G&T, spare a thought for your guests and organise some quality spuntino, too. Let gourmet pasta delivery service Pasta Evangelists do the heavy lifting, and impress your guests with an assortment of delicious pasta dishes, such as duck ragu with parpadelle or venetian crab ravioli, alongside bowls of taralli, grissini and a plate of classic antipasti.

For the last-minute legend
Sure, you’ve thrown some good parties on a whim in the past, but this isn’t any old evening. While we’re all for laid back and leisurely, let’s use all that extra time at home we have now have to embrace some forward planning, so you can be last-minute and fully prepared at the very same time. Your home bar needs a little upkeep, a little TLC. Prep your aperitivo hour store cupboard every time you do a food shop: tonic to top up your Malfy Gin Con Limone, some prosecco and San Pellegrino Arancia Rossa for your Malfy Gin Rosa sunset spritz, oranges, strawberries, or even some fresh herbs such as thyme or rosemary. And then even if you invite people over with five minutes’ notice, you’re good to go. Buonissimo.

For the slow burner
The thing about Italian inspired evenings is, it’s all about playing the long game. Watching the world go by with a slow sip on your cool Gin Spritz to keep you company. It’s about making the evening last, and while we can’t actually sit out on the streetside terraza of the Amalfi coast, we can do a little something to bring that feeling back home. A fig scented candle or two will transport your guests straight to a balmy Amalfi evening, some artfully mismatched crockery and a plate of crostini only adds to the ambience. And Fellini’s La Dolce Vita projected on to the wall? Now we’re talking!

For the born cinematographer
Picture this: you’re sitting overlooking the sea, Vesuvius in the distance, your Gin Spritz in your hand … what are you listening to? If you don’t have time to delve into the Spotify search box, you could do worse for your party than playing the soundtrack of Anthony Minghella’s modern classic The Talented Mr Ripley – where the music sets the scene as much as the magical locations around Naples and the Amalfi coast. While we’re on the subject of that film, if you’re planning on looking the part, take some style notes from Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow’s lead characters, who always look effortlessly ready for a night out on the riviera. If it’s good enough for Dickie and Marge …

Malfy Gin is available to purchase in selected Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda, M&S, Waitrose and Co-op stores, as well as Ocado and the Malfy Gin Amazon brand store

Please drink Malfy Gin responsibly. For the facts, visit

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