Our Food Editors' Five Favorite Aperitif Cocktails for the Holidays
These good libations will have you covered from Thanksgiving through Christmas and New Year.
Find out what's been happening in the world of 42 burners, aka our test kitchen, with our weekly series.
Uncorking a bottle of wine is just fine, but starting the Thanksgiving feast with an aperitifs signals it's a truly celebratory meal. From light and fruity to smooth and strong, our food editors' twists on classic cocktails shake things up in the best possible way. Cheers!
Riley's Italian Corpse Reviver Recipe
"Strega, a minty, citrusy herbal Italian liqueur, perks up the appetite, and the floral taste makes everyone smile," assistant food editor Riley Wofford says of her leafy green concoction. In addition to Strega, her recipe calls for dry vermouth, fresh lemon juice, and Angostura bitters for this shaken cocktail. A fresh bay leaf makes a singular garnish and serving in a coupe glass signals it's a festive drink.
Shira's Pernod-Bourbon Spritz
"Club soda and a lemony twist temper the intense anise flavor of the French aperitif Pernod and the horsepower of bourbon," laughs food editor at large Shira Bocar. She also add a few drops of Angostura bitters and serves her holiday spritz in a rocks glass.
"Tonic and crushed ice freshen up mirto, a Mediterranean liqueur with notes of allspice, juniper, and pine that's traditionally served neat as a digestif," explains senior food editor Lauryn Tyrell. Consider her creation an Italian take on the classic gin and tonic with a charred rosemary sprig standing in for the usual lemon wedge.
"I love how the straightforward bitterness of Campari balances the sweetness of orange juice in this easy drinker," says food and entertaining director Sarah Carey. We like the color of this drink that's named for the politician who united Italy. The Campari, juice, and a few drops of orange bitters—Sarah likes Regan's Orange Bitters ($10.20, amazon.com)—are shaken together over ice and served in a coupe glass with a twist of orange.
Greg's Venetian Spritz
"This is like a grownup Shirley Temple, bursting with sweet tart cherries and warming spices," says Deputy Food Editor Greg Lofts. Prosecco meets Don Cicco & Figli Cerasum (a cherry aperitivo) for this special spritz that's served in a wineglass half full of ice and garnished with a grapefruit wheel and a green olive.
Food styling by Greg Lofts. Prop styling by Sarah Vasil.
Martha Stewart Living, November 2019