The perfect Italian summer recipes

If you’ve ever been to Italy, you know how important food and drink is in Italian culture - not only have they elevated it to an art form, but the tradition of sharing a cocktail or a meal together is the very fabric of social life and connection between friends and family.

On design trips to Italy, we always take the time to sit down with the artisans who create our shoes for an aperitivo and to share a meal. Below are Erika’s two favorite Italian-inspired recipes to make all summer long. Bursting with refreshing summer flavors, they’ll never fail to impress, whether you’re the guest or the host.

APERITIVO: The classic Hugo cocktail

The unexpected and delicious drink from Italy you’ll love.

One of our favorite Italian traditions is the irresistible concept of “aperitivo” - meeting friends for a refreshing cocktail before dinner. Picture a beautiful terrace on an Italian hillside, overlooking the Mediterranean at sunset, the scent of lemons in the air, with the most wonderful company - and a wine glass in hand filled with a light, cool cocktail, fresh herbs, ice cubes gently clinking as you “cin-cin” (toast) with friends and loved ones. It’s the perfect tradition to relax and let your focus shift from the workday to the evening.

The Hugo is a delicious poolside cocktail, ideal for warm evenings and celebrations - simple to pull together, refreshing and light.

The Hugo: 


  • Mint leaves
  • Prosecco
  • Soda water
  • Elderflower liquer
  • Lime wedges


- Muddle mint leaves in the bottom of a chilled wine glass, and add a few ice cubes

- Pour over the elderflower liquer, add a splash of soda water. and fill the rest of the glass with Prosecco

- Give it a quick stir, and garnish with lime wedges



REFRESHING SUMMER SIDE DISH: the Peach Caprese salad

An unexpected twist on the Caprese salad, the classic Italian dish from the stunning island of Capri. Perfect to serve at a poolside barbecue. it’s bursting with ripe summer flavors and is an elevated and simple side.

Peach Caprese: 


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon flaked salt, divided
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 ripe peaches - halved, pitted and sliced into half moons
  • 6-12 leaves fresh basil, to taste
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (8 oz) ball fresh mozzarella (packed in water), thinly sliced


- Whisk olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and 1 pinch flaked salt together in a bowl until dressing is smooth.

- Alternate tomato slices, peach slices, onion slices, basil leaves, and mozzarella slices in layers on a platter. Drizzle dressing over salad and sprinkle remaining flaked salt on top.

Make these and let us know what you thought - we'd love to hear from you! 

Cin cin and buon appetito!

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