When in Milan, you must, must, must have an aperitivo. This elevated “happy hour” (for lack of a better term) always includes some complimentary bites and it’s the city’s ultimate socializing experience. If you want to feel like a local (I’ll say it again), you must, must, must have an aperitivo when you’re in Milan. There are plenty of places to choose from but through 8 January, you can start your meal on a sweet note at Terrazza Gallia with the special Dolce Aperitivo.
Talented barman Niccolò Avanzi, winner of the Italian leg of the 2016 Nikka Whisky Perfect Serve Competition, has created five delightful Christmas cocktails that are each paired with three bites of three different panettone flavors from the Cerea Brothers, chefs of the epic Da Vittorio (one of Italy’s eight three-star Michelin-rated restaurants) who oversee the menu at Terrazza Gallia: classic, chocolate or the signature Venetian, the latter made without eggs or candied fruits and topped with granulated sugar. (In case you’re not aware, panettone is one of Milan’s signature Christmas desserts, a fluffy buttery brioche cake with dried fruits.)
The libations, you might be wondering? Listed below. The stellar bar team prepare all the cocktails ad hoc.
- Anni Venti, a spicy retro cocktail
- Jingle Gin with ginger and pear liqueurs
- Dans Le Foyer a super old school cocktail with origins in a Turin noble family
- Down the Chimney, a hot and smoky concoction
- Chai Christmas, for teetotalers or anyone not wanting booze
If you haven’t been, go. Terrazza Gallia sits on the rooftop of Excelsior Hotel Gallia and offers an awesome view of one of my favorite buildings in Milan and my most favorite train station in the world: Milano Centrale. The open air ambiance adds to the conviviality making it one of the coolest places (no pun intended) to drink and gather, if I do say so myself. Don’t worry, team Gallia is totally conscious of the cold weather and you’ll find heat lamps and appropriate covering to help prevent the winter chill from infiltrating your aperitivo.
The Dolce Aperitivo costs 18 euro per cocktail and includes three bites of panettone.
Available everyday from 6.30pm onwards.
Terrazza Gallia is located at the top floor of the Excelsior Hotel Gallia (Piazza Duca d’Aosta).
Photos: Excelsior Hotel Gallia