What is an Aperitif, Why and How to Serve it ? | Advanced Mixology

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 savour every morsel you serve. 

If you are still pondering over what is an aperitif?then an Aperitif is similar as amuse bouche in terms of food. 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.

3 Best Aperitifs that you can serve at you dinner party

1. Negroni

Negroni is an Italian cocktail which is made using gin and vermouth rosso. It considered an aperitif which means it will develop the taste for whats going to come!, Something typical to a negroni is that its never stirred, rather shaken and built over ice in a very old fashioned way. 


  • 1.5 oz. gin
  • .75 oz. Campari
  • .75 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1 large ice cube
  • Orange peel for garnish


  1. Add gin, Campari and sweet vermouth to mixing glasss with ice
  2. Stir
  3. Strain over large ice cube in rocks glass
  4. Garnish with orange peel

2. Martini

Martini is a cocktail that is also made using gin and vermouth. You can garnish it with some olive oil or some sought of lemon twist. Martini is an all time favorite of a lot of people. It also depends of the taste of the one who drinks as in what type the person prefers. A dry martini is loved but even more popular is the perfect martini, something that has equal amount of sweet and dry vermouth. 


    • 2.5 oz. gin
    • .5 oz vermouth
    • Olives or lemon twist for garnish


    1. Add gin and vermouth to mixing glass with ice
    2. Stir
    3. Strain into chilled cocktail glass
    4. Garnish with olive or lemon twist

    3. Aperol Spritz

    When it comes to the perfect aperitif. There are several factors responsible such as the type of drink and also the time of the year. Aperol spritz is best when enjoyed in the summers. This is also a perfect example of a drink that prepares your palette for all the drinks that are going to come by. 


    • 4.5 oz. brut prosecco
    • 2.5 oz. Aperol
    • .75 oz. club soda
    • Orange slice for garnish


    1. Fill collins glass with ice
    2. Pour in club soda, Aperol and prosecco
    3. Garnish with orange slice

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