Your semester abroad may feel like it was ages ago, even if you moved to the other side of the world this time last year. Although you can imagine yourself sitting in outdoor cafés with your new friends, it can feel like the four months you spent in Florence, Milan, or Rome were all a dream. Don't pinch yourself because the fresh pasta and weekend trips to Cinque Terre were real. Pulling out a wine glass and learning how to make an Aperol Spritz will prove it, and let you relive the bold flavors and experiences at home.
You likely reminisce on your nightly aperitivos the most, and rightfully so. Those days after your art classes when you'd slip into a table at a dimly-lit restaurant or bar, order a drink, and then enjoy the fresh food of the buffet were #iconic. They always brought you closer to the people you lived with, the locals, and the rich culture of the country, and left you wanting to come back for more. When you traveled home, it was your first priority to recreate those aperitivos the best you could, or at least find an eatery that could do your favorite seafood risotto justice.
TBH, you probably never thought about trying to make those dishes and drinks at home. But now, when you have entire afternoons to look at the photos in the cozy, Italian streets, it's almost necessary to try your hand at an Aperol Spritz and recreate your mems at home. Here are the steps you need to follow to make the vibrant orange, fizzy drink and jump into the throwbacks in your camera roll.
To make an Aperol Spritz — aka, the aperitivo drink that looks like summertime in a glass — you need to gather a few ingredients. According to Aperol, you need a bottle of their bright red-orange liquor, ice cubes, chilled prosecco, soda water, and a slice of orange for garnish. For soda water, you may want to track down a tiny bottle of San Pellegrino. In addition, you'll need a wine glass from your kitchen to make the drink in and that'll look chic in your inevitable Instagram pictures.
Once you've gathered up your tools and ingredients, it's time to take the official recipe for an Aperol Spritz step by step. Begin by filling your glass with the ice cubes. Then, pour an equal amount of the Aperol and chilled prosecco over the ice. Leave some room in your glass for a splash of the soda water, which comes next. Finally, garnish your drink with a slice of an orange, either dropped into your drink or nicely placed along the rim of the glass.
At this point, your drink is done and ready to enjoy. You may want to put it on an outdoor table with an umbrella and take some snaps of it before you start sipping. If you really want to relive your study abroad days, you may want to prep a charcuterie board too, and transport your tastebuds to another time and place. Of course, there are also plenty of other ways you can relive your experiences from your semester abroad without the eight-hour plane ride or overweight suitcase.
It may seem impossible or a little far-fetched, but cooking yummy meals straight out of an Italian cookbook and connecting with your travel buds from around the world can really make you feel like you're abroad again. It can ignite your wanderlust and satisfy it, too. Consider making risotto, linguine, or gnocchi from scratch. Mess with the flour, work with utensils in your kitchen you never have before, all while listening to Italian music similar to acoustic sets you'd listen to Piazza della Signoria.
If cooking isn't your jam, read through the journals you kept up with and look through the souvenirs you have tucked away in a box. Arrange a call on FaceTime, WhatsApp, or Zoom with your international pals, and don't waste a minute of those calls scrolling on your phone. Watch vlogs from your favorite travel bloggers, even if you've seen them a hundred times, and study maps of the cities you love.
You'll adore being able to name a street, and sketch a restaurant in that area from memory. Maybe without even realizing it, you'll reach the last sip of your Aperol Spritz and be immersed in your study abroad days at home.