Whether you call them aperitifs, aperitivos or just pre-dinner cocktails, people around the world have been mixing up a range of concoctions to get their appetites going before a big meal for hundreds of years.
This special class of tipples usually falls on the drier and more savory side, which makes sense as they complement food and appetizers so well.
These long winter nights are the perfect time to invite some friends over for a fine meal, which of course should start with some delicious drinks. Here are some of our favorite recipes to serve at the beginning of your dinner party. Bon appetit!
While it's now nearly impossible to find a decent drinks menu without a Negroni, don't overlook the related Americano. The low-alcohol sipper is a simple and refreshing mix of Campari, sweet vermouth and club soda.View recipe: Americano
While a nice glass of cold Champagne is a perfect start to an evening, we also like to use bubbly in this cocktail, which calls for lemon juice and the bittersweet Italian aperitif Aperol as well.View recipe: Aperol Flip(Photo courtesy of Paul Body)
Mix up this more tart version of the Cosmo that includes the historic French aperitif wine Dubonnet Rouge, which also makes a nice pre-dinner tipple by itself on the rocks or with club soda.View recipe: Dubonnet Cosmopolitan
This refreshing tipple calls for complex Beefeater 24 Gin (which is flavored with both traditional botanicals like juniper berries and orris root and nontraditional ingredients like Chinese green tea and grapefruit), plus three different herbaceous European aperitif liqueurs. And it's topped with a splash of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne.View recipe: Montford Spritz
It doesn’t get more classic than this concoction, named for the thirsty characters in the Thin Man series of movies. Try master mixologist and Liquor.com advisory board member Dale DeGroff's simple-and-easy recipe.View recipe: "Nick & Nora" Dry Martini
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