We love the tradition of an apéritif before dinner, especially when the weather turns warm and we can enjoy them outdoors. Light and refreshing, they are perfect to whet your appetite this summer. We’ve rounded up 15 of our favorite summer apéritif recipes for you to enjoy all season long.
Bitter flavors stimulate the appetite and are at the base of many apéritifs. One of our favorite bitter liqueurs is Cynar, which is made from artichokes and has a grassy bitterness. In the Black Betty, it’s mixed with bittersweet Braulio amaro, Herbsaint, and rye whiskey. In the Devi’s Garden, a touch of cynar adds a little depth to a drink made with reposado tequila and chile-infused mezcal.
Vermouth is perhaps best known for playing second fiddle to gin in a martini, but it’s a wonderful ingredient in its own right. While a typical martini might be two parts gin to one part dry vermouth, in the Upside-Down Martini this ratio is reverse. To bring out the vermouth even further, cut out the gin and replace it with soda water to make a delicate, botanical spritzer.
If these bitter liqueurs are a little too strong for you, try mixing them with fruit for balance. To make our grapefruit agua fresca, combine tequila with Cocchi Americano Rosa and grapefruit juice. The Merchant’s Wife features gin, Aperol, and muddled watermelon. Both apéritifs are delightfully bittersweet.
Find all of these drinks and more in our collection of summer apéritif recipes.