Olive Magazine

Best aperitifs to try

Published: June 29, 2022 at 4:00 pm

We’re familiar with the charms of Aperol, Campari and Fernet Branca but there are plenty more aperitifs to explore. From bitter Italian numbers to British liqueurs, here are some of our favourites

Looking for a new aperitif to try? Want an alternative to the Aperol spritz? Aperitifs are traditionally drunk before a meal, and usually have dry or bitter flavours designed to stimulate your appetite. Classic aperitifs include dry vermouth and white wine, fizz and bitter drinks such as Campari. Cocktails including martinis, G&Ts, spritzes and negronis are also great pre-dinner tipples.


For post-supper sipping, check out the best digestifs to try. Want to really impress fellow cocktail lovers? Recreate your favourite bar at home with our best drinks trolley ideas.

Best aperitifs to try

Amaro Santoni, £26.95/50cl, Amazon

This Tuscan dolce amaro aperitivo makes for an elegant summer aperitif. It's floral and herbaceous, with rhubarb and clove spice, and well-balanced bitterness. Drink with tonic water.

El Bandarra Al Fresco Aperitif, £20/1L, Waitrose

Spanish vermouth brand El Bandarra also make this zesty aperitif, using Spanish grenache infused with Med botanicals. Refreshing and assertively bittersweet, with grapefruit and floral notes, try in an Americano cocktail.

Venetian spritz, £12.50 (750ml), These Days Drinks

With almost a Campari flavour, this spritz has vanilla notes with subtle fizz. Serve with seafood dishes or nibbles. It has a low ABV of only 6%, too, so it’s easy to drink.

Studio shot of Venetian spritz bottle

Campari Soda, £9.95/pack of 5, The Whisky Exchange

Campari have released an RTD version of their classic aperitivo. There are no surprises here, just a perfectly mixed Campari and soda (in winningly dinky glass bottles), designed to be served over ice with a wedge of orange.

Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto, £29.40/70cl, Master of Malt

This delicate Italian aperitif makes a great addition to your drinks trolley. Ingredients such as bergamot peel, aromatic cedro lemons and lavender give a citrussy and floral edge as well as a long finish to cocktails. Combine with prosecco and a couple of olives for a refreshing summer spritz or serve with tonic.

Italicus APeritif Bottle

Cynar, £13.95/70cl, The Whisky Exchange

This classic bitter Italian aperitif is flavoured with artichokes, but don’t let that put you off. The end result is sultry, earthy and subtly vegetal. It works brilliantly in a spritz, swap it for Campari in a negroni or drink neat over ice.

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A bottle of dark liquid with a red, green and white label

Aperitivo Select, £16.75/70cl, The Whisky Exchange

Spritz like the Venetians do with this rich, bittersweet aperitif. The combination of bitter rhubarb, vibrant strawberry flavour and fresh juniper berries creates a complex drink with a fresh, citrussy finish. Just pour three parts prosecco and a splash of soda water over two parts Select in a glass with ice, and garnish with a green olive for the perfect Italian summer serve.

Select Spritz and bottle of Select with a bowl of green olives

Pampelle Ruby L’Apero, £28.50/70cl, Fortnum & Mason

Corsican ruby red grapefruit steals the limelight in this bitter-sweet Italian aperitif. Combined with citrus peels (floral yuzu, fragrant cedrat and bitter Haitian oranges), eau de vie and natural botanicals, it makes a wonderfully tart and aromatic alternative to Campari in spritzes and negronis. Mix with prosecco and a slice of ruby red grapefruit for a refreshing spritz.

Pampelle Aperitif Bottle

Kamm & Sons British Aperitif, £30.75/70cl, The Whisky Exchange

This botanical spirit has 45 ingredients, including ginseng, grapefruit, manuka honey and juniper. Expect earthy, herbal notes, citrussy bitterness, aniseed and a long finish. Drink neat with ice as a digestif or lengthen with soda water for a low-ABV spritz.

Kamm and Sons Bottle

Sacred Rosehip Cup Liqueur, £26.95/75cl, Amazon

Made with rosehips, rhubarb, orange and ginger, this has a restrained bitterness and earthiness, and sweet fruitiness. Try mixing with sweet vermouth and gin for an English twist on a negroni.

SAcred Rosehip Cup Bottle

Stellacello Pompelmo, £26.95/50cl, Amazon

This grapefruit liqueur has a heady sweet citrus nose and rounded, subtly tart flavours. Try adding a splash to a glass of crisp sparkling wine.

Stellacello Aperitif Bottle

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