Smart Living

Four of London’s finest aperitivo bars (and what to drink in them)

Just don't try them all at once...

Words by
Aleks Cvetkovic

When was the lastime you took some time out from your schedule just to relax? It’s not something Londoners are good at, is it? Life coaches, self-improvement plans, therapists and fads have tried to re-programme our self-stressing, over-worked tendencies, but to no avail.

Now, The Jackal has an answer – aperitivo. A cultural institution, aperitivo remains a daily ritual among stylish Italian society, a therapeutic pause to reflect upon the day’s events, whet your whistle, and recharge for the evening to come. Moreover, aperitivo-esque drinks have been gaining ground in London of late, so now’s the time to get in on the act. We’ve tried meditation apps, and trust us, this works just as well. Here are our Campari-soaked go-tos. There’s no rush, so don’t try them all at once now, will you?

The classic: Negroni Robusto at Bar Termini

Aperitivo bars, The Jackal magazine

Termini is the godfather of London’s aperitivo scene and a superlative Campari bar. Its house Negronis are the stuff of legend, and if you’ve yet to try one, you must. There are five to choose from, including the definitive Classico and the floral Rosato, but the Robusto (pictured) gets our vote. £7, bar-termini.com

The pick-me-up: Rosmarino at Augustus Harris

Rosmarino aperitivo cocktail, The Jackal magazine

Augustus Harris is a Venetian Bacaro in Covent Garden with a warm, cosy vibe. The cocktail list and the menu of light bites are great, and the refreshing Rosmarino is a real winner. Inspired by the Gimlet, it’s gin, lemon juice and rosemary sugar syrup, given a good shake and served over cracked ice, excellent to put a little fire back in your belly. £9, augustusharris.com

The serious drinker: Bloodshot Negroni at SuperLyan

Bloodshot Negroni, SuperLyan

Not for those with a weak constitution. The Bloodshot Negroni at subterranean Hoxton bar SuperLyan is punchy, inspired by owner Ryan Chetiyawardana’s hankering for ‘classics, but bitchin’ classics.’ Old Forester bourbon and Campari mixed with various vermouths, mandarin spritz and an injection of beef-tea, this is a drink to set you up for a momentous evening. £9, superlyan.com

The flavour-bender: Flemish Negroni at Nightjar

Flemish negroni, Nightjar

Old Street’s Nightjar mixes Copperhead Gin, popped kamut grain infusion, Marcanegra Mezcal, Rinomato Bitter Aperitivo, Trappiste Vermouth and Guarana Bitters to create its Flemish Negroni. Intrigued? Of course you are. £14, barnightjar.com