3 cocktail and food pairings for an enchanting autumn happy hour

Oct 22 2021, 6:29 pm

This fall and winter, we’re looking forward to making up for the moments that matter — from colourful walks paired with equally vivid cocktails to snowy evenings sipping on something sweet.

Whether you’re planning for the holidays or simply intend to take that summer energy with you through the colder months, we’ve got cocktails and light bites to get you through a season of happy hours and small gatherings.

The concept of the aperitif (or aperitivo, in Italian) is all very European and about sipping on bitter, vermouth-infused cocktails meant to be sipped before a big meal or celebration.

“In Italy, it is second nature to come together after work for a pre-dinner drink, usually wine or vermouth with friends, family, and colleagues,” says Stephanie Lamb, an account manager for MARTINI Vermouth and longtime bartender. “This aperitivo is usually accompanied by small snacks and finger food.”

According to Lamb, it’s all about finding human connection around food and drink — something MARTINI Vermouth has long fostered in its over 150-year history. In honour of bonding with friends and family over beverages and food “the old school way,” Lamb is dishing on all the best cocktails and finger foods.

Café Negroni

Café Negroni (MARTINI Vermouth)

For those who are new to the charms of vermouth, it’s a wine-based spirit that’s been aromatized and fortified with different botanicals, barks, spices, flowers, and fruit. In this warm and sophisticated take on the classic negroni, the coffee smooths the bitterness of the vermouth while the cinnamon adds delicious and cozy flavours.

According to Lamb, this cocktail is best enjoyed before dinner and can be paired with toasted walnuts or Marcona almonds — or “even after dinner with some cheeky, chocolate-covered almonds.”

Ingredients (3 servings):

  • 1 part MARTINI Rosso vermouth
  • 1 part BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin
  • 1 part MARTINI Riserva Speciale Bitter liqueur or Italian bitter
  • 1/2 cup coffee beans
  • 1/8 cup freshly sliced ginger
  • 2 cinnamon sticks


In a mason jar, add the coffee beans, ginger slices, and cinnamon sticks. Add the MARTINI Rosso, MARTINI Riserva Speciale Bitter liqueur or Italian bitter and BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin. Seal the jar and allow it to rest overnight or for at least a couple of hours. Pour your homemade infusion into a rocks glass. Add ice and stir, allowing the cocktail to become fully chilled and mixed.

Torino Fizz

Torino Fizz (MARTINI Vermouth)

With a taste that’s bubbly and surprisingly complex, the vermouth’s botanicals shine in this cocktail with herbaceous oregano and vanilla is complemented perfectly by the acidity of the prosecco.

“The Torino Fizz is one of my favourite aperitivo cocktails,” says Lamb. “It is low ABV, and the effervescence of the prosecco pairs nicely with the botanicals of the vermouth.” She recommends pairing the cocktail with warmed olives, cured meats, bread, and cheese, or something zesty, like stuffed peppers, anchovies, or artichokes in olive oil.


  • 1.5 parts MARTINI Rosso vermouth
  • 3 parts MARTINI Prosecco
  • 1 skewered orange zest and olive


In a rocks glass, add the MARTINI Rosso vermouth. Fill the glass with ice and stir to chill the vermouth. Top with MARTINI Prosecco. Stir once again in an up and down motion to combine the ingredients. Garnish and serve.

Bianco Mule

Bianco Mule (MARTINI Vermouth)

“The Bianco Mule can only be described as a hybrid cocktail made for modern tastes,” says Lamb. “Kind of like a lower ABV Moscow Mule made into an aperitivo cocktail with Bianco Vermouth.” Bianco Vermouth is sweet, made using white grapes and flowers, and has vanilla notes that will shine through the spicy notes of the ginger beer.

To complement the spicy vanilla and ginger notes of the cocktail, Lamb suggests serving small seafood bites, like calamari, as well as spicier dishes like bread and bomba (an Italian pepper, eggplant mushroom, and tomato spread) or tapenade ( a kalamata olive spread).


  • 1.5 parts MARTINI Bianco vermouth
  • 3 parts ginger beer
  • 1 lime wheel
  • Fresh vanilla pod (optional)


In a mule mug, add the MARTINI Bianco vermouth. Fill the glass with ice and stir to chill the vermouth. Top with ginger beer. Stir once again in an up and down motion to combine the ingredients. Garnish and serve.

For more delicious cocktail recipes and recipe pairings, you can visit martini.com.

As always, please remember, drinks are best enjoyed when enjoyed responsibly.


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