I’m a strong believer in cocktail hour. Especially on a hot breezy Benicia day.

I’m talking about the cocktail before dinner. The cocktail to encourage your final takeout decision. The cocktail to start your evening in all the right ways.

The aperitif.


There are several definitions for the word aperitif. This is my personal favorite.




an alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite.

Simple and straight to the point.


Of course, this cocktail stimulates more than just your appetite. It will help relax and stimulate the mind. We will warn you; it may encourage online shopping. This is best to be enjoyed outside and unplugged.


Here are a few of my favorite quick aperitif cocktails. Don’t worry, these have been tested to ensure great taste. All can be made in one glass, just add ice.


The Ginger Claw!

A spicy take on the Moscow Mule, but with a little extra kick of ginger. Will settle any stomach and freshen up the taste buds. 

1 can of Natural Lime flavor White Claw

1.5 ounces of any cucumber vodka. (Gin or whiskey can be used as an alternative.)

1 oz of Limeade (Trader Joe’s brand for less sugar. Simply brand is also a great alternative)

½ tbsp, freshly shaved ginger root (add a little more for spice)

Crushed ice, optional. 


The Classic Aperol Spritz

Making a comeback these days, the Aperol Spritz is easy to make and packs a flavorful punch, with low alcohol content.

This recipe is from www.Liquor.com/recipes/aperolspritz

3 Ounces of Prosecco (La Marca is a great option, can be found at any grocery store)

2 ounces of Aperol (Campari for that great classic taste)

1 ounce Soda Water (Store brand is just fine)

Garnish with an orange wheel (Blood orange adds a little extra zing)

Bitters are optional. I always like to add some to bring out the Aperol 



Tom Collins 

Great for you lemon lovers out there. I always like to sweeten this cocktail naturally and use Meyer lemons instead of adding simple syrup. Of course, this is optional based on preference and Meyer lemon availability. Fresh juice is the best way to go for this summer refresher.

2 ounces of Gin (Vodka can be substituted, or for lighter alcohol option, Elderflower liqueur)

3/4 fluid ounces of lemon juice (if squeezing is not for you, simply lemon is a great alternative)

2 ounces of club soda

Lemon peel or wheel for garnish 



We hope you enjoy these creations. Feel free to get creative yourself and add your own twist to these classics. Stay safe and drink in your backyard.