Five aper­i­tifs fit for a Thanks­giv­ing feast

Toronto Life - - Contents - By david lawrason

Lus­tau amon­til­lado Los ar­cos

Any be­fore-din­ner drink can be called an aper­i­tif, but the clas­sic Euro­pean ver­sion is de­signed to charge the senses and ig­nite the ap­petite—crit­i­cal be­fore a mon­u­men­tal Thanks­giv­ing meal—with­out be­ing too pow­er­ful, fill­ing or sweet. This se­lec­tion of dry, en­er­giz­ing aper­i­tifs should be en­joyed chilled for max­i­mum re­fresh­ment.

$15.35 | spain | 91 Points

Los Ar­cos is a beau­ti­ful ren­di­tion of Amon­til­lado sherry, with apri­cot and or­ange fruiti­ness, cof­fee­bean char­ac­ter and earthy aro­mas. Serve with apps and it’ll be the talk of the night. LCBO 375097

cam­pari $27.95 | italy | no rat­ing

Cam­pari’s rhubarb-and-gin­seng char­ac­ter forms the back­bone of clas­sic cock­tails such as the boule­vardier and ne­groni, but its dis­tinc­tively bit­ter flavour re­ally primes the palate when mixed with a splash of soda water. LCBO 277954

cave spring blanc de blancs Brut $29.95 | ni­a­gara es­carp­ment | 90 Points

Cel­e­brate lo­cal bounty with this fine chardon­nay-based Ni­a­gara sparkler, with sub­tle or­chard ap­ple, short­bread and cit­rus flavours, and a nick of lime­stone for oys­ter-friendly min­er­al­ity. LCBO 213983

Fon­seca White Port $17.30 | Por­tu­gal | no rat­ing

Gin and ton­ics are ev­er­pop­u­lar, but the mixed drink’s high-oc­tane base spirit can smother the ap­petite. Throt­tle down to 20 per cent al­co­hol white port, blended with two parts tonic, loads of ice and a smack of lime or mint. LCBO 276816

lil­let blanc $18.15 | France | 93 Points

The spicy, cedary French aper­i­tif is lightly for­ti­fied, with or­ange-mac­er­ated brandy added to bar­relaged sau­vi­gnon blanc and semil­lon grapes. Serve it with an ice cube, or cut it with sparkling wine or a dab of gin. LCBO 322297

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