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.
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, or swap it for Campari in a negroni.
Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto, £30.45/70cl, 31 Dover
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.
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.
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.
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 or lengthen with soda water.
Escubac, £27.25/70cl, Master of Malt
Distilled with the likes of caraway, cardamom, nutmeg, citrus, raisins, vanilla and saffron, this Scottish spirit is spicy and warming. Mix with tonic for an intriguing alternative to a G&T.
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.
Stellacello Pompelmo, £26.95/50cl, Farmdrop
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.
Pococello, £24.95/50cl, Amazon
This British limoncello is made with Chase potato spirit and aromatic Amalfi lemons. With an intense citrus fragrance, smooth and not too sweet, it works well with tonic water (think revved-up lemon barley water) or topped up with fizz.