As a bartender, I've seen my fair share of people coming in before dinner looking for a drink.
Some want something to whet their appetite, while others are looking for something to take the edge off a long day. No matter what the reason, there's no denying the allure of a good pre-dinner drink.
But what makes a good pre-dinner drink? Is it the flavor profile? The alcohol content? The presentation? The answer is all of the above.
A good pre-dinner drink should be refreshing, light, and easy to drink. It should stimulate your taste buds without overpowering them, and it should set the tone for the meal to come.
In this blog post, we'll be exploring some of the best pre-dinner drink recipes out there. We'll be looking at classic cocktails, modern twists, and everything in between.
Whether you're a gin and tonic person or you prefer something a little more complex, there's something for everyone on this list.
So, if you're looking to impress your guests at your next dinner party or just want to mix up your usual pre-dinner routine, read on.
We'll be sharing our favorite recipes, tips for presentation, and more. Get ready to elevate your pre-dinner drink game and impress your taste buds.
1. Espresso Martini
The Espresso Martini is a perfect pre-dinner cocktail for coffee lovers. Made with just four ingredients, this cocktail is shaken until frothy and topped with a beautiful foam layer. The combination of coffee liqueur and espresso creates a rich, bold flavor that is sure to wake up your taste buds.
The three espresso beans on top represent health, wealth, and happiness, making this cocktail not only delicious but also symbolic. You can even customize this cocktail to your liking by using Bailey's instead of coffee liqueur or adding flavored vodka for an extra kick. Overall, the Espresso Martini is a must-try for anyone who loves coffee and cocktails.
2. The Queen's Dubonnet Cocktail
"The Queen's Dubonnet Cocktail" is a classic pre-dinner cocktail that is said to be Queen Elizabeth II's favorite drink. It is made with Dubonnet, a sweet fortified wine aperitif, and gin, and is served with a lemon wedge and ice.
Dubonnet adds a touch of sweetness and herbal notes to the cocktail, while gin provides a smooth bitterness. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy a stiff drink before dinner. Whether you're a fan of The Crown or just looking for a new pre-dinner cocktail to try, "The Queen's Dubonnet Cocktail" is definitely worth a taste.
3. Gin and Lavender Apéritif
The Gin and Lavender Apéritif is a pre-dinner cocktail that celebrates the combination of Cocchi Americano and gin, tied together with fresh lemon juice and floral flavors from lavender syrup. It's a milder option for those who want a bit of bitterness and strength to get their appetite going.
Plus, Empress 1908 gin is perfect for a party trick, as it stays deep purple until something acidic is added, such as lemon juice, and then it becomes a cool shade of pink. Give it a try and be pleasantly surprised!
4. Rose and Cucumber Collins
The Rose and Cucumber Collins is a delicate and refreshing pre-dinner cocktail that is perfect for sipping on a hot summer evening. This fizzy cocktail is made with a homemade rosewater syrup, which is paired with shavings of cucumber and a splash of gin.
The rosewater adds a perfumed note to the cocktail, while the cucumber provides a refreshing and cooling effect. This cocktail is a great way to start off a dinner party or to enjoy on its own. Try it out for yourself and experience the delicate flavors of the Rose and Cucumber Collins.
5. Summery Rosé Spritzer
The Summery Rosé Spritzer is a refreshing and light cocktail that is perfect for sipping on a hot summer day or serving at a party. This cocktail is made with a dry rosé and muddled strawberries and lemon, topped off with sparkling water or club soda.
The touch of mint adds a nice twist to the drink, making it a well-balanced and flavorful cocktail. It's a great choice for those who prefer a lighter, less sweet drink. This cocktail is a must-try for anyone who loves wine spritzers or rosé cocktails.
6. Boulevardier Cocktail
The Boulevardier Cocktail is a perfect choice for those who want to impress their guests with a pre-dinner drink. This cocktail is a classic and has a fascinating backstory that adds to its allure. It is a whiskey-based cocktail that has a robust and woodsy flavor with hints of cherry, wood, and herbs.
The Boulevardier Cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy Manhattans or Negronis, as it has a similar complex taste. This cocktail is easy to make and can be served straight up in a Coupe or on ice in a low ball glass. The Boulevardier Cocktail is a must-try for those who want to experience a classic cocktail with a rebellious heritage.
7. Aperol Spritz
The Aperol Spritz is a classic Italian cocktail that has been gaining popularity around the world. This refreshing cocktail is made with a 3-2-1 ratio of Prosecco, Aperol, and soda water, and is typically served during the aperitivo hour with small bites.
The balance of sweet and bitter flavors makes it the perfect pre-dinner drink, and it's easy to see why some have called it the official drink of summer. The Aperol Spritz can be customized by using Campari or Cynar instead of Aperol, and there are many variations of the classic recipe. With its bright orange color and bubbly texture, the Aperol Spritz is sure to be a hit at any gathering.
8. Passion Fruit Mojito
The Passion Fruit Mojito is a refreshing and tropical twist on the classic mojito. Made with white rum, Passoa passion fruit liqueur, fresh lime juice, and muddled mint leaves, this cocktail is topped off with club soda and garnished with a sprig of fresh mint or a lime wedge. The addition of passion fruit gives the drink a sweet and tangy flavor that perfectly complements the mint and lime.
This cocktail is perfect for a pre-dinner drink on a warm summer evening or for any occasion where you want to impress your guests with a delicious and unique cocktail. If you're looking for a refreshing and flavorful drink to kick off your evening, the Passion Fruit Mojito is definitely worth a try.
9. Aperol Sour
The Aperol Sour is a refreshing and sophisticated cocktail that is perfect for any pre-dinner occasion. It's a twist on the classic Aperol Spritz, with bittersweet Aperol liqueur, London dry gin, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, homemade simple syrup, and egg white, all shaken together to create a frothy topping.
The addition of orange bitters adds a citrusy note to the drink, making it a perfect summer cocktail. The Aperol Sour is a beautiful orange color and is often garnished with a lemon twist. It's a must-try for anyone looking for a refreshing and elegant pre-dinner cocktail.
10. Pornstar Martini
The Pornstar Martini is a glamorous twist on the classic passion fruit martini. It features a blend of passion fruit puree, vanilla syrup, fresh lime juice, grenadine, and passion fruit juice. The cocktail is perfect for pre-dinner drinks and can be easily made into a non-alcoholic mocktail.
It is typically served in a martini glass and garnished with half a passion fruit. The Pornstar Martini is a must-try cocktail for anyone who wants to add a touch of glamour to their drinks.
11. Aperol Cocktail
The Aperol Cocktail is a perfect pre-dinner drink that is sure to impress your guests. This cocktail has a unique blend of bitter orange notes from Aperol and a sweet touch of blood orange soda. The recipe also includes instructions on how to make large blood orange ice cubes, which adds an extra special touch to the presentation.
This cocktail is easy to make and can be served in a beverage dispenser, making it perfect for hosting a party. If you are not hosting a large party but simply want to enjoy a cocktail for one, the recipe also includes instructions for a single serving. Overall, the Aperol Cocktail is a refreshing and flavorful drink that is perfect for any occasion.
12. La Dolce Veev
La Dolce Veev is a pre-dinner cocktail made with Veev, a white spirit blended with antioxidant-rich acai berry. The addition of mint and honey adds a touch of sweetness and depth to the drink.
With just four ingredients, it's easy to make at home and is packed with aphrodisiac ingredients. It's a great choice for anyone looking for a simple but delicious cocktail to impress their date or enjoy before a meal.
13. Kir Royale Cocktail
The Kir Royale Cocktail is a classic and sophisticated drink that is perfect for pre-dinner drinks or any occasion where you want to feel a little fancy. This champagne-based cocktail is simple yet incredibly delicious and beautiful, making it a popular choice for brunches and special events.
The history of the Kir Royale is almost as tantalizing as the recipe itself, adding to the allure of this iconic drink. If you're looking for a cocktail that will transport you to Paris and make you feel like a true connoisseur, the Kir Royale is a must-try. Stay tuned to discover more of the best pre-dinner cocktail recipes that will elevate your next dinner party or special occasion.
14. Lemon Drop Martini
The Lemon Drop Martini is a refreshing and zesty cocktail that is perfect for a pre-dinner drink. This cocktail is made using limoncello, vodka, simple syrup, and fresh lemon juice. The limoncello adds a unique and authentic Italian flavor to the drink, while the fresh lemon juice gives it a zingy and refreshing taste.
The lemon sugar rim adds a touch of sweetness to the drink, making it the perfect balance of sweet and sour. This cocktail is best served in a martini glass and garnished with a lemon slice or lemon twist. If you're looking for a drink that's both refreshing and flavorful, the Lemon Drop Martini is definitely worth trying.
15. Kir Royale
Kir Royale is a classic French champagne cocktail made with creme de cassis and champagne. The sweet and fruity creme de cassis complements the fizzy and bubbly champagne, making it a delicious and versatile pre dinner cocktail.
It's a great way to dress up economical champagne and pairs well with a variety of pre dinner appetizers. Give it a try and add a little French flair to your next dinner party!
16. Empress Gin French 75
The Empress Gin French 75 is a visually stunning cocktail that is sure to impress your guests. Made with Empress 1908 gin, sparkling wine, lemon juice, and simple syrup, this cocktail has color-changing abilities that make it a fun and unique addition to any pre-dinner cocktail menu. The butterfly pea blossom used in the gin gives it a beautiful indigo color that changes to a pinkish-purple when citrus or tonic is added.
The combination of gin and sparkling wine gives this cocktail a complex flavor profile that is both refreshing and boozy. This cocktail is perfect for any occasion, from a New Year's party to a fancy Mother's Day brunch. If you're looking for a conversation starter and a delicious drink, the Empress Gin French 75 is definitely worth trying.
17. Passion Fruit Margarita
The Passion Fruit Margarita is a delicious twist on the classic margarita recipe. This refreshing cocktail is perfect for any summer party or get-together. The tartness of the passion fruit pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the margarita mix, creating a well-balanced and flavorful drink.
The addition of Passoa, a passion fruit liqueur, adds an extra layer of fruity goodness to this already delicious cocktail. The cocktail is best served in a margarita glass, but can also be enjoyed in a wide rimmed cocktail glass or even a mason jar for a fun twist. If you're looking for a unique and flavorful pre-dinner cocktail, the Passion Fruit Margarita is definitely worth trying.
18. Peach White Wine Slushies
Looking for a refreshing and easy-to-make pre-dinner cocktail for your next summer gathering? Look no further than Peach White Wine Slushies! This fruity and crisp cocktail is made with Sauvignon Blanc and frozen peaches, resulting in a thick and creamy consistency that's perfect for sipping on a hot day.
The addition of simple syrup adds just the right amount of sweetness to balance out the tartness of the wine. Garnish with fresh sliced peaches for a beautiful presentation. Trust us, your guests will be asking for the recipe!
19. Japanese Roku Gin Cocktail
The Japanese Roku Gin Cocktail is a refreshing and light drink that is perfect for a pre-dinner cocktail. Made with highly fragrant gin, this cocktail has a unique blend of botanical flavors that make it stand out from other gin cocktails. The gin used in this cocktail is a Japanese craft gin that uses only Japanese herbs and florals from different areas of Japan.
The name "Roku" comes from the six Japanese ingredients used to make this gin. The cocktail is garnished with dried chrysanthemum, dried oranges, lime, lemon, or grapefruit peel, making it a visually appealing drink. This cocktail is a must-try for those who enjoy light and refreshing pre-dinner drinks.
20. Hazelnut Frangelico Sour
The Hazelnut Frangelico Sour is a unique and delicious cocktail that combines the nutty flavor of Frangelico liqueur with the tartness of lime juice. The addition of egg whites gives the drink a light and airy texture, making it a perfect pre-dinner cocktail.
Frangelico, an Italian hazelnut liqueur, is the star of the show, with its robust flavor of toasted hazelnuts, vanilla, white chocolate, and herbal notes. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy desserts like key lime pie or lemon bars, or those who enjoy an amaretto sour cocktail. The Hazelnut Frangelico Sour is a must-try for anyone looking for a unique and delicious pre-dinner cocktail.