If you’re looking for new and exciting aperitif cocktails to serve at your next soiree, you’ve come to the right place!
In this post, I will share 25 delicious cocktail recipes that will help set the vibe for an unforgettable gathering.
Each cocktail is easy to make and can be completed in bulk for large crowds.
So, grab your shaker, and let’s get mixing.
Aperitif cocktails are a suitable way to kick off any evening.
These drinks are typically served before a meal to stimulate appetite, hence the name ‘aperitif.’
Aperitif cocktails usually contain spirit-based ingredients such as gin or vodka, fortified wines like vermouth or dry sherry, bitters, and soda water.
Commonly used spirits include Aperol, Campari, Cynar, and Pimm’s.
Many classic recipes have been passed down over generations, but creative variations have also increased in popularity.
To give your aperitif cocktail a twist, try experimenting with flavored syrups and fresh seasonal fruits that perfectly complement the main ingredients, like the Hugo Spritz or the Patron Anejo Segue.
Whether served neat with just some ice cubes or combined into something special, an aperitif cocktail will surely bring joy to any gathering.
So why not give it a try this weekend?
Check out #23, as it’s a surefire crowd-pleaser.
There’s something special about a good Negroni.
Whether you choose a classic mix of gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari or prefer to give it your own twist with other flavor combinations, this bold Italian cocktail will always hit the spot.
The secret to its timeless appeal lies in the balance between sweet and bitter flavors – a combination referred to as ‘the taste of paradise.’
Composed of equal parts gin, vermouth, and Campari, each sip offers a complex mix of warm herbal fragrances and bitter-sweet flavors.
Whether sipped neat or served over ice with an orange peel or slice, it’s sure to add a touch of elegance.
Discover the exquisite flavor of this Italian classic for yourself – you won’t be disappointed.
Aperol Spritzes are a terrific summer cocktail: not-too-sweet and ultra-refreshing.
But they don’t just taste good; they look beautiful too.
When poured into an oversized wine glass, they’re a gorgeous golden-orange color that’s bright enough to mimic an actual sunset.
With an Aperol Spritz in hand, you’ll feel like you instantly teleported to lazy afternoons in Italy.
The classic recipe calls for equal parts of prosecco and Aperol with some soda water – this combination complements Aperol’s sweet yet slightly bitter flavor.
The Vodka Gimlet is a sophisticated yet straightforward cocktail that’s sure to get the party started.
It’s one of those classic drinks you can pull out when chatting with friends or serving at a dinner aperitif.
Made with vodka, lime juice, and sugar syrup, its simple ingredients are guaranteed to create a unique blend of sharp flavor that parties and dinner guests alike will enjoy.
The sweetness of sugar combined with the ounce of lime gives the drink its memorable tartness, while the clear finish and smooth texture caress your palate.
What’s great about this cocktail is that you don’t need an expert bartender to mix it correctly – a little vodka and some freshly squeezed lime juice go a long way.
So don’t hesitate to add some sparkle to your next social gathering by offering your guests some lovely Vodka Gimlet cocktails.
If you are looking for a socially distant way to celebrate, Campari and sparkling wine are a fantastic pairing.
The complex blend of herbs and spices in Campari gives the drink its beautiful amber hue and pleasantly bitter taste.
A couple of ounces of Campari topped off with chilled sparkling wine will give you a bracing aperitif that will make staying in feel special.
And if you want something more festive and fun, try using blood orange juice or tonic water instead of the wine.
Whichever ingredients you choose, mixing them together will be sure to get your evening off to a great start.
Ideal for sipping on summer days, the combination of bourbon whiskey, tart Aperol, and a hint of fizz will tantalize your taste buds.
To make it all the more enjoyable, add a splash of prosecco or club soda to create an effervescent sensation.
It will make your beverage even lighter and more flavorful and give it an impressive golden glow that’s sure to impress your friends.
So, if it’s a fun night in or an unforgettable evening out, one thing is sure – you can’t go wrong with this classic combo of bourbon and Aperol.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of sipping a Suze in Paradise on a warm summer day.
This crowd-pleaser can be enjoyed by an entire group of friends or just one lucky traveler.
The bold and vibrant ingredients encapsulate the magical atmosphere that can only be truly appreciated once basking in its glowing presence.
To make your own Suze in Paradise, mix three ounces of Suze, one ounce of crème de framboise, and half an ounce of grapefruit juice into a sizeable footed goblet or wine glass.
Add tonic water to taste and fill with ice before stirring briefly.
Looking for an easy way to enjoy an adult beverage without much fuss?
Then the Vodka Lime and Soda cocktail is for you.
To make this simple drink, you only need two ounces of vodka, a splash of freshly squeezed lime juice, and soda water.
The result is a light, crisp-tasting cocktail that lets the fresh, harmonious notes of vodka take center stage.
Jägermeister and Red Bull have been partying together for years, creating a unique experience that goes by the name of the bomb shot.
This is an effortless drink: no mixing, shaking or stirring is required.
You must pour the two ingredients separately into one glass, layered in that order.
Red Bull at the bottom and then Jägermeister on top.
The result is a potent combo that will put any partygoer in the mood.
Drinkers love it because it’s terribly easy but without sacrificing any of its deliciousness; it’s like a bite-sized shot of energy with all the kick of regular Jägermeister.
A traditional French aperitif known as Lillet is the show’s star, boasting wonderfully sweet yet slightly bitter notes of honey, citrus, and pine.
But it’s only complete with the cooling cucumber slices that serve as garnish.
By simply slicing up a cucumber or two into thin discs, these hydrating slices make each sip even more delightful and thirst-quenching.
Throw in some fresh mint leaves and a few lemon wedges for even more flavor, along with a few sprigs of lavender or rosemary for some extra aroma, and you’ll be enjoying this classic combination all night long.
The combination of gin and vermouth creates a drink that packs a punch yet can be incredibly smooth and sophisticated.
Although there are endless variations with syrups, herbs, juices, and bitter liqueurs, the classic recipe has only three ingredients: vodka or gin, dry vermouth, and an optional garnish (often an olive or citrus twist).
To make it even better, you don’t need overly fancy equipment to make this inviting drink; measure your ingredients into a shaker and shake it up.
Whether enjoyed as an aperitif or paired with dinner, the martini will bring class and confidence to any occasion.
11. Three Sunsets
The sun starts to set, the evening draws in, and you’re ready for a cocktail.
How about a low-proof aperitif cocktail that captures the gorgeous reds and pinks of a summer sunset?
This blend of Campari, Cocchi di Torino, and soft pink rosé fits the bill nicely.
The robust notes of red Campari are balanced by the unique russet hue of Cocchi di Torino, which adds depth to this delightful drink.
And finally, smooth and subtle pink rosé wine helps to top off your glass – lifting this refreshingly light cocktail to another level.
12. Aperol & Soda
Craving something light and refreshing but don’t want a heavy alcohol-filled drink?
Then look no further than Aperol and Soda.
All you need are Aperol, sparkling water or seltzer, and an orange wedge for garnish.
Pour two parts of your sparkling water over one part of Aperol in a chilled glass over some ice cubes.
Garnish with the orange wedge, and you’ve got yourself a delightful libation that won’t leave you feeling weighed down.
Whether it’s a hot evening or you’re looking to start your dinner off on a lighter note, an Aperol and soda will hit the spot each time.
It will become one of your go-to drinks when you want something bright, effervescent, and delightfully tasty.
This sophisticated beverage combines Aperol, a distinctive Italian aperitif, with premium gin to create an amazingly complex flavor that is sure to delight.
We also add a splash of lime juice for tartness and simple syrup to sweeten it up.
Finally, we top everything off with soda water and garnish it with a lime slice.
The Aperol’s bright orange hue complements the lime’s zesty aroma while remaining light and thirst-quenching.
Have you ever heard of Tour de France?
It’s a classic French aperitif—a light and refreshing cocktail that works great for sipping before a big meal.
To make the drink, you only need some Bonal (a French aperitif wine made from Gentiane root), dry vermouth, orange liqueur, and bitters.
Tour de France is incredibly simple to make but packs quite a flavorful punch.
The unique combination of herbal notes in Bonal pairs well with sweet oaky notes of dry vermouth, while orange liqueur adds a subtle citrusy sweetness which is nicely rounded out with bitter herbal flavors.
Bartenders have been stirring up Negronis for their customers for some time now, but with the growing popularity of craft cocktails and mixology, even the classic drinks aren’t exempt from experimentation.
To give the traditional Negroni cocktail a more herbaceous twist, bartenders stir Cocchi Americano together in place of sweet vermouth and Suze instead of Campari.
Cocchi Americano provides a lightness than most vermouths while the slight depth of flavor keeps that classic Negroni flavor intact.
And when you add Suze to the mix, it adds a creamy herbal bitterness that complements all of those citrusy notes.
The result is an aromatic and slightly bitter drink that retains all its characteristic flavors but with a light and refreshing herbal addition.
16. French 75
Start by pouring gin, lemon juice, and Campari into a cocktail shaker with ice.
Shake vigorously and strain into a champagne flute or coupe glass.
The Campari adds complexity and bitterness that compliments the tartness of the lemon juice and cuts through the sweetness of the sparkling wine.
Add a splash of sparkling wine or even a spoonful of sugar syrup for extra sweetness.
This twist on the traditional French 75 will surely be a hit at your next gathering.
17. Cucumber Martini
Who doesn’t love a refreshing martini?
If you’re looking for something different to serve at your next gathering, why not try a Cucumber Martini?
This delightful cocktail mixes the crisp taste of cucumber with deliciously smooth gin, the precise blend of flavors to tantalize any palate.
The cucumbers’ coolness also helps ensure your drink stays at just the right temperature for optimal enjoyment.
This classic aperitif is an exquisite combination of citrus refreshment and a slightly sweet finish that would be the ideal companion for any dinner.
The flavors blend together, hitting all the right notes you could hope from an aperitif: it starts with tart lemon, giving way to the gentle sweetness of peach juice.
There are also sublime notes of apricot and orange zest, adding just enough bright zing to cut through any richness of your chosen food menu.
What’s more, unlike some heavily alcoholic drinks one might choose at dinner time, Segues’ comparatively light ABV offers a safe option while still delighting both alcohol fans and non-drinkers alike, making it the ideal drink to start your evening on the right note.
I recently attended a luncheon that had a French-themed menu, and it included a fantastic Lillet French Aperitif with an Orange Twist.
The drink was perfectly suited to the meal and could not have been more luscious.
The drink’s sweetness was refreshing, and its slightly bubbly nature added a delightful sparkle as we enjoyed our lunch.
The orange twist was not just for decoration; it gave off a tantalizing aroma when mixed into the drink, leaving an unforgettable flavor on my tongue.
It honestly handled our themed meal beautifully, offering us an exciting yet subtle taste adventure.
This curious concoction has all the familiar flavor notes of a classic Negroni (Campari, Sweet Vermouth, and gin) but with one surprising twist – Prosecco is used instead of gin.
Moreover, some people like to add an extra zing by throwing in some carbonated water.
This refreshing blend of fruity flavors and herbal notes makes for a wonderfully light and fruity take on the classic style.
21. Hugo Spritz
If you’re looking for a summertime libation, look no further than the Hugo Spritz.
This breezy beverage will whisk you away to sunny Italy with one sip.
You should be.
This sparkling cocktail is made with elderflower syrup, Prosecco, and club soda.
It will delight all your friends at parties or make a relaxing night at home extra special.
One of the best things about apéritifs is that they tend to have relatively low levels of alcohol compared to other drinks, so you can enjoy them without having too much of an effect on your system.
The Bicicletta is one such apéritif, made of white wine and Campari, giving it a lovely balance between sweet and refreshing.
Not only will this classic Italian beverage bring out the flavors in your food and palate, but its modest alcohol content means that you can enjoy it with ease.
23. Vermouth Spritz
The aperitif is a quintessential component of Italian cuisine, and none is more iconic than the Vermouth Spritz.
This cocktail has become well known worldwide with its unmistakable golden color, achieved by mixing white vermouth with various sparkling wines or bitter drinks.
It’s also incredibly versatile – you can play around with different combinations and garnishes to find a flavor that suits your taste.
The possibilities are endless, from well-known mixes such as Aperol and prosecco to more innovative variations such as grapefruit and lemon juice.
With its light texture and low alcohol content, it’s no surprise that the Vermouth Spritz is loved by many; it’s like a refreshing hug from an old friend.
24. Pimm’s Cup
If you’ve ever had a Pimm’s Cup, then you know how tastebud-tinglingly tantalizing it is.
The sweet, savory, and refreshing drink owe its flavor to Pimm’s No. 1, an aperitif that blends together the gin and several fruit juices with spices like nutmeg and citrus oil.
Whether enjoyed at a summer wedding or in front of the fireplace on a cold winter night: A Pimm’s Cup is always sure to impress.
If you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing cocktail bound to turn heads, the Paper Plane is definitely worth a try.
This modern classic has remained a firm favorite because of its unique mix of bitter, sour, and earthy notes and because it can be put together using just four ingredients.
Plus, you only need five minutes to make this beautiful sunset-colored drink with an Italian twist.
It’s sublime for any occasion, from happy hour at home to a night out on the town.
The Paper Plane Cocktail packs a punch yet remains surprisingly light.
Imagine biting into a tart lemon and then picking up hints of vanilla, maple syrup, and your choice food-grade bittering agent.
All in all, it’s sure to be an enjoyable experience each time you pour yourself one of these gorgeous cocktails.
The bottom line
Aperitif cocktails can make any occasion feel special, whether it’s an intimate dinner with friends or a larger celebratory gathering.
These 25 recipes will bring out the best in your palate, boasting unique combinations of flavors and aromas that will delight even the most discerning tastebuds.
- Aperol Spritz
- Vodka Gimlet Cocktail
- Campari-Fennel Aperitif
- Bourbon Aperol
- Suze In Paradise
- Vodka Lime & Soda
- Lillet & Cucumber Aperitif
- Asparagus Martini Aperitif Cocktail
- Three Sunsets
- Aperol & Soda
- Aperol Gin Cocktail
- Tour De France Aperitif
- Barrel Aged White Negroni
- French 75
- Cucumber Martini
- Patron Anejo Segue
- Lillet French Aperitif With An Orange Twist
- Negroni Sbagliato
- Hugo Spritz
- Vermouth Spritz
- Pimm's Cup
- Paper Plane Cocktail
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