Before dinner, you need an apertif that quenches your thirst and gets your mouth watering: a bittersweet spritz made with Campari or Aperol is just the ticket. These effervescent drinks are especially refreshing on a hot day, and the perfect partner for a few predinner snacks.
The Aperol Spritz is quite popular in Italy (though perhaps more so among women than men.) It's a fragrant and subtly bitter blend of Aperol and prosecco, lightened with a dash of club soda. You could also substitute the intensely herbal Gran Classico in the place of Aperol for a more complex tipple.
The Campari Spritz is a bit more bold and intensely bitter; an olive garnish brings out the savory side of the cocktail. It's not as intense as a Negroni, but the night is still young.