This article is part of an Aperitivo Hour series, featuring sips and snacks for the warming weather, presented by Patrón Ahumado.
There’s no better time to have a cocktail than in the brief window that exists between a post-beach-day shower and one of summer’s late-night, outdoor, candle-lit dinners. That fleeting, liminal phase should be celebrated as what it is: a breezy, relaxing aperitivo hour filled with refreshing sips and delicious bites. Here are five of our favorite snack and drink pairings for any summertime aperitivo hour.
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1. Watermelon Basil Paloma & The Chunkiest, Herbiest, Greenest Guacamole
We’re not reinventing the wheel here—guacamole, well-salted tortilla chips, tequila, and citrus simply belong together. With watermelon and basil permeating throughout it, this paloma is especially adept at balancing the saltier chips and guac.
2. Cynar Spritz & Chicken Liver Mousse
Of all the spritzes, Cynar is my favorite. Deeply herbal and wonderfully bitter, it’s prosecco’s perfect partner. A drink of this complexity deserves to be paired with a snack of equal depth, which this rich chicken liver mousse has in spades.
3. Feta-Brine Martini & Crispy Garlic Dip
This dirty martini swaps olive juice for feta-brine and is dirtier, saltier, and—ultimately—better for it. Like many others, I prefer my martinis accompanied by some form of fried potato. In this case, we’ll opt for store bought potato chips and a fun, garlic-forward play on onion dip.
4. Iced Green Tea With Cardamom & Radish and Butter Tartine
If you’re looking for a drink that’s bright and sophisticated—but also alcohol-free—this tea is what you want. It’s herbal, slightly acidic, and refreshingly sweet. Served alongside radishes, butter, and crusty bread, this pairing will hold you over, but never bog you down.
5. Rum Punch & Wasabi Pea Snack Mix
Here’s my ideal summer evening: It’s just before dinner and I’ve got a tall, plastic cup of rum punch in one hand and way too much snack mix in the other. If all goes right, my mom will insist I’ve “spoiled my appetite” at least three times.