Alessandro Perricone talks about our love for aperitivo in the Relæ Community and why we labeled our weekly DJ-night at RUDO after a whiny child.

Posted on 9 January, 2019

Written by Sonja Dajuk. Polish communications intern in the Relæ Community office and a huge fan of after-work vermouth cocktails at RUDO.

Consider aperitivo to be a “warm up” before the main course. A drink, often accompanied by bite-sized foods intended to inspire thirst, awaken the stomach and get the digestive juices flowing before the feast to come. Aperitivo originates from the Latin verb ‘aperire’, which means ‘to open’. No one quite knows when exactly this wholesome tradition has begun, but it is said to go as far back as the biblical times of the ancient Egyptian era. One thing is certain though; the cocktail of herbal-floral-bitter tastes has gained worldwide popularity and been picked up especially well by the Italians – a nation that definitely knows something about good drink and food. On that note, we had a chat with the Italian born and raised Alessandro Perricone – Head Sommelier in the Relæ Community and the main guy in charge of our own bar for aperitivo: RUDO.

Continue reading to read about Ale’s passion for aperitivo, vermouth and learn the meaning of the word capricciosa, from our own Alessandro Perricone from the Relæ Community.

It’s all about the moment and gifting yourself exactly what you want at the time.

Alessandro Perricone, Relæ Community

What is aperitivo to you?

Ale: For me, aperitivo is the nicest and most relaxing time of the day. Something that feels a bit like giving yourself permission to have a small lazy moment during the day to relax. Aperitivo tastes especially well after you’ve had a long, productive day at work; and just before dinner, you treat yourself as a reward. It’s about being in the moment. You can enjoy it by yourself or you can be with many people. You can stand up you can sit down. It doesn’t have to be about the alcohol, as aperitivo can also be a virgin drink. It’s all about the moment and gifting yourself exactly what you want at the time.

Can you talk a little bit about how aperitivo is done in Italy?

Ale: In Italy, we have a culture of standing at the bar. You drink coffee straight at the bar and swiftly move on to whatever you’ve got to do in your day. In the same way, aperitivo can be something very quick, where you meet with your friends after work and before going home to be with your family. I like the whole social aspect of it. It could be as short as 20 minutes and as long as an hour. You usually have a quick talk about football, politics, life, girls, money, family, whatever. And then you go home!

Your favorite aperitivo?

Ale: Vermouth is a drink, you can drink in all sorts of ways; plain, on the rocks, with a little bit of soda or mixed with gin. I normally drink Americano which is also known as Milano Torino. Americano is made with vermouth and is quite bitter. It’s a bit like a Negroni but without the gin. I like the dark color of it and that it isn’t too strong.

And what would be the food on the side?

Ale: Olives! Or truffle toast.

As part of the Relæ Community, you have recently opened your own aperitivo-bar. What was the initial vision you had when opening RUDO?

Ale: We wanted Rudo to be an expression of who we are and bring a bit of our culture into it. Our aim was to create a place where people can experience the best selection of Italian vermouth, gin and produce served in a simple way while enjoying good music in an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome and at ease. We’ve spent a lot of time researching the right produce and the right bottles to have at the place. Produce of the highest quality is something which is in line in all the other restaurants (Relæ, BÆST, Manfreds Mirabelle).

Alessandro Perricone mixing a vermouth at RUDO. Image credit: Karl Ejnar Jørgensen.

Capricciosa has become a Saturday night tradition at RUDO, where the DJ plays vinyl, while the guests are enjoying their aperitivo. Could you explain what the verb Capricciosa means exactly?

Ale: It’s linked to aperitivo and having your own capriccio: an attitude related to a person that doesn’t take “no” for an answer and whenever they get a no they get whiny! Directly, it’s translated to whimsical, or capricious. It’s about saying yes to giving yourself a little treat! You don’t need to be completely right to do it. You can do it because you deserve it! That’s my understanding of capricciosa. It could be seen as a capricious child but actually, it stems from the notion of knowing exactly what you want.

How do you want people to feel when they visit RUDO?

Ale: What’s important to me is the warmth, friendliness, and atmosphere of a place that allows you to relax and enjoy the moment. I see RUDO as a place that is a bit of an escape from life’s responsibilities. It’s a place to be happy and switch off from whatever goes on outside. A place where one can forget about it for a little bit and spend some nice time, listening to some nice music and have a proper drink.

Coming from Italy where the weather is always beautiful, does the Nordic climate get to you?

Ale: In my life, the weather is always beautiful and the light is always bright. I work in an environment I love and also the people I do it with. I have plenty of fun with and I don’t see myself living anywhere else! The weather doesn’t stop me!

Thanks, Ale.