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Prep your palate with a classic Italian apéritif

AN aperitivo is the Italian version of an apéritif – a pre-dinner drink designed to whet your whistle and get you and your tastebuds prepped for the food to follow. Don Giovanni’s new aperitivo list brings together some well-balanced tipples with various levels of sharpness to stimulate your appetite for the classic Italian dishes ahead.

Aperitivos differ from region to region, and Don Giovanni’s menu gives you a little taste from every corner of Italy. The Italian Spritz is the bella of the aperitivo ball, but is a drinking style rather than a signature recipe. At Don Giovanni, the Peychaud Aperitivo Fizz replaces the better-known Aperol Spritz, combining Peychaud’s, Prosecco and soda for a sweet and fresh long drink with a hint of bitterness. 

If you’re after authenticity, then look no further than the Limonata Spritz: a classic cocktail combining Don Giovanni’s homemade limoncello, created in house by the head bartender, Broker’s Gin, Chartreuse and fresh sage, topped up with limonata San Pellegrino. It’s like the best grown-up lemonade you’ve ever had, and oh-so-refreshing after a long day.

The Spiced Mint Julep is a mix of spiced rum, sugar and fresh chilli, mint leaves and lime. The heat from the chilli provides a welcome pop of heat and tingle, while the fresh mint is unbelievably refreshing. 

Don Giovanni Spring Menu044 Ed Spiced Rum Julep Emma Boyle Don Giovanni Spring Menu046 Ed Julep Emma Boyle Don Giovanni Spring Menu042 Ed Cheeky Monkey Emma Boyle Don Giovanni Spring Menu048 Ed Giovanni Bellini Emma Boyle Don Giovanni Spring Menu049 Ed Soda Menta Emma Boyle

Sticking with the menthol notes, the Soda-Menta is one to watch. Branca Mentha – a bitter but refreshing liqueur with an almost medicinal menthol taste – is paired with soda and a squeeze of lemon for a sharp, cooling palate-cleanser.

If all else fails, go for a gin and tonic, but don’t sell yourself short on quality and flavour. The Cheeky Monkey is Don Giovanni’s take on a classic G&T with Monkey 47 gin, Fever Tree tonic water, a twist of lemon – and fresh fig. Complex and rich, it’s begging to be slurped on a sunny evening.

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Don Giovanni, 1-2 Peter House, Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 5AN

0161 228 2482