11 Essential Summer Aperitif Recipes
Campari Fennel Aperitif
Pleasantly bitter, herb-infused Campari is a bracing aperitif, especially when it's blended with a little sparkling wine as it is here. Neal Bodenheimer, the owner of Cure in New Orleans, loves how the vivid-red Italian spirit tastes with fennel. "This is a perfect way to use up any leftover fennel fronds from the kitchen," he says.
Italian Spritz Punch
Agostino Perrone, head mixologist at London's luxurious Connaught Bar, created this simple sparkling punch. "It would be a great aperitif for a large dinner party," says Wayne Collins; he recommends serving it in teacups.
Deep Purple, Reprise
New York City mixologist Karen Fu adores the “inky purpleness” of this aperitif, which gets its color from Lillet rouge. She also loves shiso; here she muddles the Japanese herb with grapes. “It has a beautiful leaf design and a slight fennel flavor that can be a pleasant surprise,” she says.
A shandy meets a gin sour in this fragrant aperitif from L.A. bartender Tina Ross. For the white ale stirred in at the end, she recommends one with orange and coriander flavors such as Avery White Rascal or Blanche de Bruxelles.
Pimm's Cups are traditionally made with lemonade, lemon soda, ginger ale or ginger beer and are garnished lavishly with cucumber, mint leaves and fruit. Former bar manager Ben Scorah's version incorporates Creole Shrubb, an orange liqueur made in Martinique.
The bartenders here are sticklers for using natural ingredients. They make this drink with raw organic sugar and Reed's Original Ginger Brew, a spicy blend of ginger root, honey and herbs.c
Normandie Club Spritz
This lovely, light spritz comes from Devon Tarby at The Normandie Club in Los Angeles. "It's like the best grapefruit soda you can imagine," she says, "and tame enough that you can chug a few."
While playing with leftover ingredients one night, Jamie Boudreau combined grappa and peach puree. The mixture was sweet, so he added Aperol, a bitter orange liqueur, then Champagne, resulting in this well-balanced cocktail.