Welcome to Apéritif 101! We’re so glad you’re here. So is our instructor, Rebekah Peppler, a writer, food stylist, and author of Apéritif. She’s here to answer all our apéritif questions, like: Um, what’s an apéritif? And which apéritifs are ideal for a home bar? And what’s the deal with shaking versus stirring cocktails? Watch the latest Dear Test Kitchen episode above for the answers, and then some.
Psst: Have a topic or question that you want to see as a future Dear Test Kitchen episode? Ask it in our Hotline! Josh is keeping his eye out.
This bright, bitter, floral drink comes by way of Rebekah’s book. “In an easy twist on the standard G&T, subbing in assertive Suze adds an earthy, oral bitterness to the drink while also lowering the alcohol content,” she writes. “Drink two!”
Here’s an easy-to-remember formula: 1 part bitter Italian liqueur, like amaro. 3 parts Prosecco. Orange twist in each glass, plus ice if you want it (I want it).
Aperol spritzes may be all the rage, but I personally prefer a Cynar spritz. While the color isn’t as pretty, Cynar’s flavor is more complex and bitter, thanks to a slew of plants and herbs, including—wait for it—artichokes.
Furikake Chex Mix
Think you love Chex mix? Just wait until you add a jar of furikake—a Japanese seasoning, usually made with sesame seeds, seaweed, sugar, salt, dried fish, and MSG.
Five Spice Oven Roasted Nuts
Cocktails love roasted nuts. Especially these ones, which are tossed with five spice (a Chinese mixture featuring ingredients like cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and fennel) and some chili powder for good measure.
Serve these as Seattle-based chef Renee Erickson does: next to a mountain of fluffy ricotta. Some crackers or crostini wouldn’t be unwelcome, either.