It's an exciting time for the Passa Parola bars at Hackney Empire this week. Sasha Regan's all male cast make a welcome return to the theatre with their award winning version of Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance. And to celebrate the 4 night run we'll be serving traditional Italian aperitivo before each performance.
The aperitivo tradition
What is aperitivo? It's both the name of a pre-meal drink aimed at stimulating the appetite, as well as the name for the ritual of socialising and relaxing while snacking before dinner. The word comes from the Latin word meaning 'to open' - referring to something that literally 'opens your stomach'. The idea behind the Italian aperitivo is to kick-start the digestion and socialise with friends before your main meal.
There is, however, one rule: the aperitivo must be accompanied by something to eat. Otherwise, in the eyes of an Italian, it’s just a plain old drink.
What to eat and drink
Classic aperitivo drinks include bitters and spritzes such as Campari, Vermouth and Aperol - available at the Passa Parola bars all year round. But in recent years Italians have been switching to wines as an aperitivo.
We'll be serving a selection of free appetisers and nibbles to accompany your pre-show drinks in true aperitivo style. Our selection includes:
cold pasta and rice
You only have to pay for your drinks - our selection of tasty treats are absolutely free, in keeping with the apertitivo tradition.
Featured wine of the week
For this special occasion we are launching a new wine. Passimento is a perfect aperitivo tipple. It's a blend of Merlot and Corvino grapes, and is a dense and deeply coloured wine. Passimento is full of concentrated black and red cherry flavour, and hints of leather and spice.
Aperitivo at Hackney Empire
We'll be serving our aperitivo in the hour before every performance of Pirates of Penzance this week. So why not come in and experience a piece of genuine Italian culture in the middle of Hackney before seeing the show. Not only will you receive a warm welcome, you can also stimulate your appetite and relax with friends in true aperitivo style!