August is the cruellest month if your summer plans of lounging by a Tuscan swimming pool have been scuppered by quarantine. However, if, like me, you are now stuck on the sofa with nothing but canoe slalom and synchronised 3m springboard from Tokyo for distraction, there is a daily ray of sunshine: aperitivo hour.
That time when you close the laptop and contemplate the evening ahead with something cold and wet accompanied by a small dish of something salty. Part drink, part mindset, an aperitivo is a ritual that brings joy.
“The colour of a negroni — how can you not be happy when clutching something that colour?” says Matt Hranek, the author of The Negroni, a celebration of the punchy Florentine classic (built