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11 Tasty Aperitifs to Serve Before Dinner

What to drink before dinner? Serving your guests cocktails before dinner can be viewed as an act of kindness, but it does have practical uses too. This is known as serving an aperitif drink, and its goal is to prepare the stomach for food and support the digestive process. There are many different kinds of aperitif recipes, and they are enjoyed in a variety of cuisines; gin, vermouth, wine, Aperol… just to name a few. Today, we will be looking at some of the best and tastiest aperitif cocktails you could offer your guests. They will always do the trick, regardless of whether you run a professional restaurant, or are just looking to invite some friends over.

What to Drink Before Dinner – List of Aperitifs

1. Faviola

Let us start with the Faviola aperitif drink. Despite being an interesting drink in itself, it seemingly never achieved the popularity of some of the aperitif cocktails we are yet to mention. By pairing up dry vermouth with Marnier and a tad bit of orange, the Faviola offers a unique take on the Metropolitan drink. It can be served both as an aperitif, before the dinner, or as a companion to the meal – the choice is yours. In both cases, Faviola will surprise the guests and is a very good pick for any last-minute parties.

2. Campari

The next aperitif drink on our list is Campari. It’s one of the simplest aperitif recipes to make, as the only ingredients you will need are vodka and some Angostura Bitters. That, however, doesn’t make it any less tasty. Of course, as you could already guess by looking at the ingredients, Campari is not for everyone, particularly as it’s a rather strong type of aperitif. It is also pretty bitter, but it will allow your taste buds to enjoy each dish to its fullest extent.  Campari is often served with cheese-based dishes.

3. Bourbon and Blood

Don’t worry – it’s not real blood we’re talking about. This cocktail, although its name comes off as dark and threatening, is actually one of the smoothest and sweetest on our list of aperitifs. The ingredients list is rather simple: some fine whisky, some sweet vermouth, and a bit of blood orange liqueur. This drink, much like Faviola, can be served both during and before dinner. Its darker profile will no doubt be of interest to many of your guests!

4. Autumn Spiced Tonio

The opening cocktails on our list of aperitifs were all pretty straightforward, but let’s focus on a bit more exquisite aperitif cocktails now. We present to you the Autumn Spiced Tonio, which is also the first tall drink on our list. This aperitif is a mixture of vodka, soda, apple, pear, and cinnamon, and it tastes ridiculously great. As a tall drink, it can be served before dinner, and the guests can finish it during the meal – there is no reason to hurry. Autumn Spiced Tonio will fit in very well with all kinds of meat dishes, particularly turkey.

5. Sherry Cobbler

Are you looking for something even more prestigious looking? Then, how about the Sherry Cobbler? This variation of a classic pear cobbler drink uses a wide selection of ingredients, from some fino sherry and pear brandy to cinnamon syrup and drunken pears. No matter what meal you are trying to start it with, the Sherry Cobbler will fit right in, and it’s a truly delicious alternative to the “normal” pear cobbler.

6. Martini

Let us now move on to the all-time classic known as Martini. We’ve all heard about, or perhaps even tried this drink at least once, right? Martini is often said to be the epitome of what aperitif cocktails taste (and look) like. What’s more, there really is no basic recipe for a Martini cocktail, so you can pretty much experiment to your liking. It will blend in very well with any meal, complementing it, however, we heavily recommend combining it with a seafood-based dinner.

7. San Francisco Semi-sweet Cocktail

Can’t decide if the cocktail drink you are preparing should be more sweet or dry? No problem. The San Francisco semi-sweet cocktail will be the perfect choice for whatever party you are planning to host. It uses both styles of vermouth and also opts for a bit of sloe gin. This combination makes the taste unique and really impressive among the plethora of other aperitif recipes. San Francisco semi-sweet cocktails offer the perfect mix of sweetness and dryness, and the two very different flavors actually complement each other very well.

8. Gimlet

The next pick on our list is the Gimlet cocktail. It’s a very simple aperitif, and we honestly don’t think preparing it will cause trouble to anybody. Thanks to its light, refreshing taste, the Gimlet is perfect for summer garden parties, as well as a casual dinner. The recipe is very simple as well; you just have to mix a bit of your favorite gin with some lime cordial, and your Gimlet is ready to drink.

9. Negroni

If you’re wondering what to drink before dinner, keep in mind that Negroni is an iconic aperitif cocktail. Remember how we were talking about Campari just a moment ago? Well, you can think of Negroni as a Campari deluxe. It’s mixed with sweet vermouth and gin, and a few cubes of ice. The drink is absolutely delicious and fits in with any dish. We, however, particularly recommend presenting it to your guests together with a cornish game hen. You will find that Negroni is a much more mellow alternative to the standard Campari, as the mix of gin and vermouth takes care of the unnecessary dryness.

10. Aperol Spritz

Now let us tell you why Aperol Spritz is the perfect aperitif cocktail no matter the occasion. This cocktail is really easy to make properly, and, despite its dryness, is very easily approachable – at least, when compared to the likes of Campari. All you need is just some bitter liquor, designed especially for this purpose, and some bitter oranges. The intensive, sparkling orange taste of this cocktail is one that your guests won’t forget for a long time, especially when served together with flavorful dishes.

11. Autumn Leaves

The last cocktail drink we will be talking about is known as Autumn Leaves. It offers a unique and rich flavor, thanks to a mix of pisco, Campari, Drambuie, and lime. The richness of the flavor makes Autumn Leaves actually a very good choice for an aperitif cocktail if you wish to serve more complex dishes for your guests. With the Autumn Leaves cocktail, you are guaranteed to both satisfy and surprise them!

Well, which cocktail idea do you like the most? Do you enjoy the sweetness of the Sherry Cobbler? Or perhaps you prefer the intensive dryness of the Campari? No matter your personal preferences, we at Root & Bone are positive to meet them and create a wholesome experience for your special dinner night. 

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