Appertifs and Digestifs are drinks that are classicly served before dinner (appertif) and after dinner (digestif) and I know that on a day like today with alot of eating, drinks like these will come in handy.
An appertif, which in Latin literally means to open, is a spirit or a cocktail meant to stimulate the appetite, either instead of or combined with a small snack.
Some charesteristics of this cocktail would be that it is dry, rather than sweet, low in alcohol content, utlizing clear spirits and will usually include some kind of botanical like a fortified wine such as sherry or vermouth.
Some classic examples of this would be Lillet, Vermouth and Campari.
The cocktail I will feature four my appertif is called The Negroni, a very classic example of this type of drink and includes both Campari and Sweet vermouth, however this drink is not even close to sweet.
Campari is a red Italian liqueur in the bitters family. It is an infusion of herbs and fruit (including chinotto and cascarilla). In Italy, it is often served with citrus juice and soda water.
This drink can be a bit on the intense side in terms of the bitterness of the Campari, you can top it with some lemon lime soda to sweetne in more than the sweet vermouth can do on its own.
1 oz London Dry Gin
1 oz Campari
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
Combine all in a mixing glass with ice and stir for 20 seconds
Strain in a rocks glass with ice or serve neat in a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with orange twist
A digestif on the other hand is a completely different animal. Meant to aid in digestion and well as serving as the finish to a meal, these drinks tend to contain one or more components on the sweeter side which means a darker spirit like brandy or cognac and are often grape based and inlcude sweeter, fortified wines and dessert liqueurs.
The drink I am featuring as my favroite digestif is called the French Connection, it is a sweet cocktail but more rich than sugary and contains just the right hints of vanilla and almond to taste alot like a buttery, nut pie.
1 1/2 oz Cognac
3/4 oz Good Amaretto such as Disaronno or Luxardo
Build in a rocks glass over ice or combine in a warmed snifter