Mixology at Home - Aperitifs

The Manhattan is one of the 10 cocktails every bartender - professional or home - should know how to make.
Updated: Jul. 13, 2023 at 8:00 AM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Why do some people swear by a drink before dinner? The traditional drink before dinner is supposed to stimulate your desire for food.

These drinks are called aperitifs, or apertivo as they say in Italy. There are a lot of options for aperitifs. Most have gin, vermouth, or a dry wine; as well as bitters liqueur such as Campari and Aperol.

One aperitif we already highlighted is the Negroni. However, we got mixed reviews about the taste. On this Mixology at Home, we will do one called an Aperol Spritz. It only has three ingredients -- prosecco, Aperol liqueur, and club soda.

Put ice and an orange slice in a tall glass (some use a stemmed glass, such as one for white wine), add three ounces of prosecco, then two ounces of Aperol, and top off with a splash of soda before stirring.


  • 3 oz prosecco, chilled
  • 2 oz Aperol
  • 1/2 oz club soda
  • Orange slice for garnish

Drinks to stay clear of before dinner are the sweet ones. That coffee martini is great after dinner but not a motivator before.

Some aperitifs to try, besides Negroni the Aperol Spritz are Fabiola, gimlet, and of course the martini.


  • 3/4 oz brandy
  • 3/4 oz sweet vermouth
  • 3/4 oz brandy-based orange liqueur (Grand Marnier)

Add ingredients to a shaker with ice; shake and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


  • 2 1/2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz lime cordial
  • Lime wedge for garnish

Pour ingredients into a mixing glass with ice, and stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


  • 2 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth (Note - this is to taste; some people have a little vermouth spritz bottle that they use)
  • 1 dash of orange or aromatic bitters (optional)
  • Lemon twist or an olive or two for garnish

In a shaker with ice, add gin and vermouth (if you don’t use a spritzer), shake gently to mix, and pour the drink, without ice, into a cocktail glass. Add a pitted olive or lemon twist for garnish. Some people, instead of mixing the vermouth, spritz it over the top of the gin.