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 at a glance

  • Best alternative for Aperol fans: Aperitif Select, £16.79
  • Best amaro: Amaro Santoni, £25.25
  • Best citrus aperitif: Savoia Orancio, £21.95
  • Best wine-based aperitif: El Bandarra Al Fresco Aperitif, £20.95
  • Best French aperitif: Dolin Bitter de Chambéry, £20.80
  • Best for Bellini fans: These Days Venetian Spritz, £14
  • Best simple classic: CampariSoda, £10.95 (5 x 9.8cl)
  • Best versatile aperitif: Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto, £31.45
  • Best vegetal aperitif: Cynar, £18
  • Best Campari alternative: Pampelle Ruby L’Apero, £20.95
  • Best fruity aperitif: Sacred Rosehip Cup liqueur, £25.24
  • Best refreshing aperitif: Pomello, £33

Best aperitifs to try 2023

Aperitivo Select

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

Best alternative for Aperol fans

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.

Amaro Santoni

Amaro Santoni 5

Best amaro

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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.

Savoia Orancio

Savoia Orancio

Best citrus aperitif

This orange wine-based bittersweet Italian drink was inspired by the spices of the Silk Road. Infused with spices such as ginger and saffron alongside orange, bergamot and lime, it’s full of delicate but lively bitterness, juicy citrus and subtle spice. It’s a natural fit for a spritz, but at just 17.2% ABV, it would be delicious mixed with ginger ale for a low-alcohol aperitif.

Available from:
The Whisky Exchange (£21.95)

El Bandarra Al Fresco Aperitif


Best wine-based aperitif

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.

Available from:
Amazon (£20.95)
The Whisky Exchange (£23.25)

Dolin Bitter de Chambéry

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Best French aperitif

This smooth, herbaceous liquid is the floral, French answer to popular Italian aperitifs, created by infusing herbs and fruits with wine at the only house still producing vermouth under the traditional Chambéry appellation. Plenty of bright fruit notes, such as cranberry and strawberry, are balanced with bitter orange, dark chocolate and a touch of honey. Enjoy on the rocks with a slice of orange or pair with sparkling wine and soda for a delicate, French-style spritz.

Available from:
Amathus Drinks (£20.80)

These Days Venetian Spritz

Ventian Spritz These Days

Best for bellini fans

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.

Available from:
These Days (£14)

Campari Soda


Best simple classic

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.

Available from:
The Whisky Exchange (£10.95, 5x9.8cl)

Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto

Italicus APeritif Bottle

Best versatile aperitif

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.

Available from:
Waitrose (£31.50)
Master of Malt (£31.74)
The Whisky Exchange (£31.75)


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

Best vegetal aperitif

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.

Available from:
Amazon (£18)
The Whisky Exchange (£18.25)

Pampelle Ruby L’Apero

Pampelle Aperitif Bottle

Best Campari alternative

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.

Available from:
Master of Malt (£20.95)
The Whisky Exchange (£22.25)

Sacred Rosehip Cup Liqueur

SAcred Rosehip Cup Bottle

Best fruity aperitif

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.

Available from:
Master of Malt (£25.24)
The Whisky Exchange (£26.25)
Amazon (£34.51)


Pomello bottle with a pink spritz in front of a festive lights background

Best refreshing aperitif

This light, refreshing aperitif has delicate notes of elderflower and fragrant, citrusy pomello. Serve in a spritz with sparkling wine, plenty of ice and a slice of fresh grapefruit.

Available from:
Pomello (£33)


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Hannah Guinness olive magazine portrait
Hannah GuinnessSenior sub editor and drinks writer

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