Here are some good aperitif cocktails to try on for size:


The Definitive Dry Martini


2½ oz gin

½ oz dry vermouth


Contrary to the way James Bond likes it, stir the ingredients together and strain them into a cocktail glass. Add a lemon peel or fresh green olive as garnish. Some good variations are to add a dash of bitters or ½ ounce of Triple Sec.


Vermouth Cocktail


1 oz dry vermouth

1 oz sweet vermouth

1 dash orange bitters


Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.


Stupid Cupid (Gregory Cartier variation)


2 oz vodka

½ oz gin

1 dash orange bitters

¼ oz lemon juice


Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Flame a lemon peel over top.

digest this...

Now for some good digestif cocktails to enjoy at the end of a meal:


The Classic Old-Fashioned Cocktail


2 oz whisky

2 dashes bitters

1 tsp sugar

Splash of soda

1 strip orange peel

1 strip lemon peel


Muddle the sugar and bitters together in an old-fashioned cocktail glass. Add some ice and the whisky. Stir and garnish with the orange and lemon peels.


French Connection


1½ oz cognac

¾ oz amaretto


Stir and serve in an old-fashioned cocktail glass. Flame an orange peel over it as garnish for a nice effect.


Santini's Pousse Cafe


½ oz brandy

1 tbsp maraschino

½ oz Triple Sec

½oz dark rum


Pour in order of recipe into a pousse cafe glass (like a parfait glass with a square base).


Brandy Port


1 oz brandy

1 oz tawny port

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp maraschino


Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with orange slices.


If cocktails are not your cup of tea, then go European and classic with your aperitifs and digestifs. Choose Campari, Pernod or vermouth before dinner, and port, sherry, cognac, or scotch  while the meal digests. With choices like these, you can seldom go wrong. Cheers!

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Aperitif & Digestif