What is an Aperitif


Spruce up Your Next Dinner Party with a Delicious Aperitif

You’re planning a dinner party and want it to be a hit. The food is sure to be delectable and the ambiance and decorations are planned perfectly. Now all you need to do is make sure your guests are greeted with a tasty, welcoming drink that will kickstart their appetites and have them ready to eat when dinner is served. Enter, the aperitif.

The word aperitif comes from a Latin root, meaning “to open,” which is exactly the purpose of the drink: to prepare the stomach for the meal and to open up the palate for tastes to be enjoyed during dinner. When you greet your dinner guests with an aperitif, you’re doing much more than simply welcoming them to your home with a cocktail, you’re getting them ready to savor every morsel you serve. What seems like a generous offering, in fact serves the additional (mildly selfish) purpose of making the food you’ve prepared even more appealing!

Since they’re meant to open up the palate rather than overwhelm it, aperitifs are light and crisp, and typically are around 15 to 25% alcohol. Most of the aperitif recipes found on advancedmixology.com are made of vermouth, gin, or dry styles of wine. Additionally, there are some distilled spirits like Aperol and Campari that are used as aperitifs on their own.


People have been infusing wines with herbs since the 5th Century, using the new spirits as medicine, but the modern aperitif made its debut in Europe around the turn of the 19th Century. Antonio Carpano is credited as creating the first sweet vermouth recipe in Italy in 1796. Joseph Noilly of France expanded on the recipe a few years later and created the world’s first dry vermouth. Throughout the following century, aperitifs continued to grow in popularity, eventually making it to America where early versions of martinis and Manhattans, which were heavier on vermouth than the ones found in bars today, were common.

If you’re looking to make an aperitif with one of the world’s most renowned vermouths, consider Carpano, an Italian vermouth that is one of the world’s oldest and bears the name of the creator of the drink’s first recipe. After choosing the right vermouth, try some of the aperitif recipes below to find the perfect one for your tastes and your dinner party.

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1.5 oz. gin

.75 oz. Campari

.75 oz. sweet vermouth

1 large ice cube

Orange peel for garnish


Add gin, Campari and sweet vermouth to mixing glasss with ice


Strain over large ice cube in rocks glass

Garnish with orange peel


2.5 oz. gin

.5 oz vermouth

Olives or lemon twist for garnish


Add gin and vermouth to mixing glass with ice


Strain into chilled cocktail glass

Garnish with olive or lemon twist

Aperol Spritz

Aperol Spritz

4.5 oz. brut prosecco

2.5 oz. Aperol

.75 oz. club soda

Orange slice for garnish


Fill collins glass with ice

Pour in club soda, Aperol and prosecco

Garnish with orange slice

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