As a bartender, I've seen many customers come in for a pre-dinner drink, looking for something to whet their appetite. That's where Aperitivo comes in.
Aperitivo is a tradition in Italy where people gather for a drink and a light snack before dinner. It's a time to relax and socialize while enjoying a refreshing cocktail or two.
Aperitivo cocktails are designed to stimulate the appetite and prepare the palate for the meal ahead. They are typically light, refreshing, and low in alcohol content.
The idea is to cleanse the palate, not to get drunk. These cocktails are perfect for sipping on a warm summer evening or for starting off a night out with friends.
The Aperitivo tradition has been around for centuries, but it's only recently that it's gained popularity outside of Italy. It's easy to see why. Aperitivo cocktails are delicious, easy to make, and perfect for any occasion.
Whether you're having a dinner party, a picnic in the park, or just relaxing at home, an Aperitivo cocktail is the perfect way to start the evening.
In this blog post, I'll be sharing some of the best Aperitivo cocktail recipes that are sure to impress your guests.
These cocktails are simple to make, require only a few ingredients, and are perfect for any occasion. So, grab your shaker and let's get started!
1. Aperol Spritz
Aperol Spritz is a refreshing Italian cocktail that is perfect for summer. It has a bright orange color and a unique sweet and bitter taste. The main ingredient is Aperol, an Italian bitter aperitivo liqueur.
The cocktail is typically served in a large wine glass filled with ice and topped with Prosecco and soda water. It is a simple drink to make and can be easily customized with different citrus fruits or garnishes. It is a must-try for anyone who loves Italian cocktails or is looking for a new refreshing summer drink.
2. Aperol Sour
The Aperol Sour is a refreshing and citrusy cocktail made with only five simple ingredients, including Aperol, an Italian amaro with notes of rhubarb, bitter orange, and herbs. The addition of egg white creates a foamy top that adds a touch of elegance to the drink.
Best served as an aperitif, this cocktail stimulates the appetite and gets your tastebuds ready for the main course. It's perfect for those who love classic Italian flavors and want to add a touch of sophistication to their drink repertoire.
3. Orange Spritz Aperitivo
The Orange Spritz Aperitivo is a refreshing and bubbly cocktail that is perfect for a hot summer day. It's a twist on the classic Spritz, with the addition of orange soda and garnished with fresh mint and sliced oranges.
This cocktail is easy to make and requires no professional mixologist skills. It pairs perfectly with an antipasto board loaded with Italian delicacies.
4. The Spritz Cocktail
The Spritz Cocktail is a popular Italian aperitivo drink that comes in two variations, Aperol and Campari. The Aperol Spritz is lighter and sweeter, while the Campari Spritz is more robust and bitter.
It is a refreshing drink that pairs well with light snacks and is perfect for a hot summer day or a cozy evening with friends. The Spritz Veneziano is a regional variation made with white wine and may include a green olive garnish. It is worth trying to experience the Italian aperitivo culture.
5. Hugo Cocktail
The Hugo Cocktail is a refreshing aperitivo cocktail from northern Italy made with prosecco, elderflower syrup, and sparkling water. The elderflower syrup adds a sweet and musky flavor, while the prosecco and sparkling water make it fizzy and crisp.
It's easy to make and requires no special equipment. The cocktail is perfect for those who want a light and refreshing drink before dinner.
6. Americano Cocktail
The Americano Cocktail is a classic Italian drink that has gained popularity over time. Made with sweet vermouth, Campari, and a hint of secret ingredient, this cocktail is a perfect balance of sweet and bitter flavors. The addition of soda water gives it a refreshing fizz, making it a perfect summertime drink.
The bright red color of Campari adds a bold flavor to the drink, making it a must-try for those who love citrusy aperitif liqueurs. While traditionally served in a highball or rocks glass, this versatile cocktail can be enjoyed in any receptacle. It pairs well with seafood and is a great pick-me-up at the end of a long day. If you're looking for a refreshing and flavorful cocktail, the Americano is definitely worth a try.
7. Blood Orange Boulevardier Cocktail
The Blood Orange Boulevardier Cocktail is a sophisticated twist on the classic Campari cocktail. It adds a splash of sweet-tart blood orange juice to the mix, creating a refreshing and balanced flavor. The cocktail is perfect for cooler days and begs to be sipped slowly in front of a warm fire.
The history of the Boulevardier cocktail dates back to the 1920s during prohibition, and Campari, the Italian aperitivo central to the cocktail, dates to 1860. The Blood Orange Boulevardier is a must-try for those who enjoy bold and complex flavors.
8. Jungle Bird Cocktail
The Jungle Bird Cocktail is a tropical rum cocktail that is perfect for happy hour at home. It is a classic tiki cocktail that is cold, refreshing, and perfectly balanced. Made with dark rum, pineapple juice, Campari liqueur, and lime juice, this cocktail is juicy, complex yet easy to drink, and full of tropical vibes.
The addition of Campari adds a distinct bitter note to the cocktail that offsets the sweeter ingredients, making it more complex and balanced than many tiki-style drinks, yet still refreshing and easy to drink. The Jungle Bird Cocktail is perfect for any occasion, whether you're hosting a party or just relaxing at home. If you're a fan of tiki cocktails, you'll definitely want to give this one a try!
The classic Mojito is a refreshing and delicious cocktail that originated in Havana, Cuba. It's a perfect drink for a hot summer day or a casual gathering with friends. Made with fresh mint, lime juice, white rum, and a homemade simple syrup, this cocktail is a crowd-pleaser.
The Mojito Simple Syrup, which is the secret ingredient, elevates the flavor to a new level. The added club soda and ice make it a perfect cocktail to sip on while enjoying the sunset. If you're looking for an easy and delicious cocktail to impress your guests, the Mojito is a great choice.
10. Negroni Cocktail
The Negroni Cocktail is a classic Italian aperitivo that has been enjoyed for decades. Made with equal parts of Campari, gin, and vermouth rosso, this ruby-red cocktail is refreshing and elegant. It's the perfect drink to kick off your Italian aperitivo, and it pairs well with simple nibbles like marinated olives, focaccia bread, or fried sage leaves.
The Negroni Cocktail is a simple yet sophisticated cocktail that is easy to remember, and it's perfect for any occasion. If you're looking for a refreshing and elegant cocktail, then the Negroni Cocktail is definitely worth trying.
11. Limoncello Prosecco With Blueberries and Thyme
Looking for a refreshing and unique Aperitivo Cocktail recipe? Look no further than the Limoncello Prosecco with Blueberries and Thyme. This Italian-inspired cocktail combines the sweet and tangy flavors of limoncello with the bubbly goodness of prosecco.
The addition of blueberries and thyme adds a touch of sophistication and style to this already delicious drink. Perfect for any celebration, this cocktail is sure to impress your guests and leave them wanting more. Don't miss out on this must-try Aperitivo Cocktail recipe!
12. Elderflower, Gin and Prosecco Cocktail
If you're looking for a refreshing and easy-to-make cocktail for your next party, look no further than the Elderflower, Gin and Prosecco Cocktail. With just five simple ingredients, including gin, elderflower, Prosecco, lime juice, and sugar, this cocktail is a crowd-pleaser that will leave your guests asking for more.
The combination of the floral elderflower and the bubbly Prosecco creates a light and refreshing drink that is perfect for sipping on a warm summer evening. The sugar-rimmed martini glass adds a touch of sweetness to the cocktail, while the squeeze of lime juice adds a bit of tartness to balance out the flavors. Overall, the Elderflower, Gin and Prosecco Cocktail is a delicious and easy-to-make drink that is sure to impress your guests.
13. Ombre Hibiscus Prosecco Cocktail
The Ombre Hibiscus Prosecco Cocktail is a stunning and easy-to-make cocktail that is perfect for any occasion. Made with whole hibiscus flowers and Da Luca Prosecco, this cocktail has a light pink color and a sweet and fresh taste that is perfect for brunch or any other celebration.
The edible hibiscus flowers add a chewy texture to the drink and make it a unique and specialty cocktail. It's a great addition to any Aperitivo Cocktail list and is sure to impress your guests with its beautiful ombre effect.
14. Blood Orange Champagne Mule
The Blood Orange Champagne Mule is a refreshing and colorful cocktail that is perfect for any occasion, especially for New Year's Eve. This cocktail is a twist on the classic Moscow Mule, with the addition of champagne and blood oranges. The red hue of the blood oranges adds a festive touch to the drink, while the champagne gives it a bubbly and celebratory feel.
The combination of ginger beer, vodka, lime juice, and blood orange juice creates a sweet and tangy flavor that is sure to impress any guest. Whether you're hosting a party or just looking for a delicious drink to enjoy, the Blood Orange Champagne Mule is a must-try cocktail that will leave you wanting more.
15. Pimm's Cocktail
Pimm's Cocktail is a quintessentially British cocktail that's perfect for summer sipping. It's a gin-based cocktail that's mixed with fizzy lemonade, fresh fruit, sliced cucumbers, and mint sprigs. It's like a British version of Sangria, and it's a refreshing and light drink that's perfect for warm weather.
This recipe has been updated and republished in 2019, which means it's still a popular and relevant cocktail today. If you're looking for a drink that's easy to make and perfect for summer, then you should definitely try the Pimm's Cocktail.
16. Limoncello Gin Cocktail
The Limoncello Gin Cocktail is a refreshing and easy-to-make Aperitivo Cocktail that is perfect for any occasion. Made with sweet Limoncello, gin, lime juice, and fresh thyme, this cocktail is a perfect blend of sweet and sour flavors.
The Limoncello used in this cocktail is a classic Italian liqueur made from the zest of flavorful lemons grown in the regions of Sorrento, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast in Italy. The addition of fresh thyme adds a subtle herbal note to the cocktail, making it a perfect summer drink. The Limoncello Gin Cocktail is a must-try for anyone who loves a refreshing and delicious cocktail.
17. Negroni Sbagliato
The Negroni Sbagliato is a delightful Italian cocktail that is perfect for aperitivo. This bubbly and fruity drink is a twist on the classic Negroni, with gin being replaced by Prosecco. The cocktail is slightly less bitter than its classic counterpart, making it a great choice for those who prefer a sweeter taste. The drink is garnished with a slice of orange or orange peel, adding a refreshing citrusy note to the cocktail.
The Negroni Sbagliato is perfect for pairing with Italian appetizers and antipasti, such as marinated olives, breadsticks, smoked salmon crostini, or burrata with crispy 'Nduja and gremolata. If you're looking for a refreshing and fun twist on a classic cocktail, the Negroni Sbagliato is definitely worth a try.
18. Fernet Branca Spritz
Looking for a refreshing and unique Aperitivo Cocktail recipe? Look no further than the Fernet Branca Spritz. This cocktail is a perfect ode to the oncoming summer, the bitter Amari, and the end of an era. The Fernet Branca liqueur is mixed with fresh orange juice, some simple syrup, and prosecco to create an easy long drink that is perfect for a hot day.
The herbal and bitter notes of the Fernet Branca are balanced by the sweetness of the orange juice and simple syrup, making for a perfectly balanced cocktail. Whether you're a fan of bitter drinks or just looking for something new to try, the Fernet Branca Spritz is definitely worth a taste.
19. Paper Plane
The Paper Plane cocktail is a lesser-known Aperol drink that packs a punch and has a certain balance to it that makes it dangerously sessionable. Made with equal parts of Aperol, bourbon, Amaro, and fresh squeezed lemon juice, this cocktail was originally invented by bartender Sam Ross in 2007.
While it's supposedly a more modern take on the pre-prohibition cocktail "The Last Word", it shares nothing in common other than citrus and equal parts of things. This cocktail is perfect for those who want to try something new and exciting with Aperol. Its unique blend of flavors is sure to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. So, if you're looking for a cocktail that's both refreshing and potent, give the Paper Plane a try!
20. The Aviation Cocktail
The Aviation Cocktail is a classic gin-based drink with a unique and beautiful purple color. It's a perfect balance of acidity and sweetness, and the addition of Crème de Violette sets it apart from other gin cocktails.
The drink is best served in a coup glass and topped with traditional cocktail accessories. If you're looking for a visually stunning and delicious classic cocktail, the Aviation Cocktail is definitely worth trying.
21. Campari Margarita
The Campari Margarita is a unique twist on the classic Margarita cocktail that combines the bitter flavor of Campari with tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and agave syrup or simple syrup. While Campari can be an acquired taste, this cocktail recipe is perfect for those who want to try something new and exciting with their aperitivo.
The addition of Campari adds a complex and refreshing flavor to the Margarita, making it a perfect choice for those who want to enjoy a refreshing cocktail with a bitter twist. If you're looking for a new and exciting aperitivo cocktail recipe, the Campari Margarita is definitely worth trying.
The Americano is a classic cocktail that has been around since the 1860s. Originally called the "Milano-Torino," it was renamed due to its popularity with American ex-pats.
This bittersweet cocktail has fruity notes of cherry and grape, with the two liquors balancing each other out nicely. The soda water reduces the sweetness, making it a perfect aperitivo cocktail to enjoy before a meal.
While the Americano may not be for everyone due to its complex flavor, it's definitely worth trying.
The ratios of the ingredients can be adjusted to suit your taste buds, and finding the perfect balance can be a fun experiment. If you're looking for a unique and classic aperitivo cocktail, the Americano is definitely one to try.
23. Bitter Giuseppe
If you're looking for a low-alcohol aperitivo cocktail that's not too sweet, the Bitter Giuseppe might be the perfect choice for you. Made with the Italian amaro Cynar, this cocktail has a complex, herbaceous flavor that's balanced out by sweet vermouth, lemon juice, and orange bitters.
While the bitterness might not be for everyone, those who enjoy coffee or grapefruit might find themselves craving this cocktail. Originating from The Violet Hour in Chicago, the Bitter Giuseppe is a great choice for sipping and lingering over. If you're a fan of bitter flavors, this cocktail is definitely worth a try.