Aperitif 101: Everything You Need To Know About This Beverage
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You're undoubtedly already familiar with a tonne of cocktail terminology. The expressions "spritzer," "on-the-rocks," and "martini" are rather common and easily understood. The aperitif is one that you have probably heard a lot about without really understanding.

The term "aperitif" is generally associated with holidays or cocktail menus. It's possible that you have used it yourself without fully understanding what is meant by an aperitif or an aperitivo.

An apéritif, which comes from the French term "apéritif," which means "to open," is a delicious beverage that is served before dinner and helps create a special atmosphere for a wonderful meal.

What Is An Aperitif?

The term apéritif (plural, apéritifs) is French, and its Italian equivalent is aperitivo (plural, aperitivi). Their root is "apierire," which is Latin for "to open, or uncover." These quick, frequently fragrant beverages are meant to stimulate hunger and get the stomach and palate ready for food and all of its flavourful concoctions.

In Europe, apéritifs are quite popular, especially in France and Italy. They are frequently offered as pre-dinner cocktails in parlours. However, a full-course dinner is not necessary. It's also common in several nations to get together with friends for apéritifs and small bites after work. Like happy hour in the United States, it's a chance to unwind and take things leisurely.

Aperitif Vs. Digestif

A digestif, which is usually offered at the completion of a meal to help with digestion, is the opposite of an apéritif. Although botanicals are frequently used in both types of drinks, the digestif is typically sweeter and more bitter than the apéritif. The majority of digestifs, like brandy and amaros, are stronger in alcohol than the bitters and fortified wines that are often savoured as apértifs.

Most Popular Aperitifs


A deeply crimson Italian beverage, the formula for which is even more closely guarded than the Vatican transcripts. In actuality, since Gaspare Campari, the product's originator, started bottling his creation in 1860, the recipe has remained a mystery. However, Campari didn't truly take off until Davide, Gaspare's son, commissioned prominent artists from the 1920s and 1930s to create the iconic Campari advertising posters.

Regarding Campari itself, although it's said to include ginseng and rhubarb. Campari is bitter—so bitter, in fact, that it's an acquired taste. However, adding soda really aids in the acquisition; in fact, a good dash of cooled soda can beautifully open up Campari, making it a more complex beverage.


Lillet is a French aperitif wine with an aroma. Depending on the base grapes, there are several kinds to select from, such as Lillet Blanc, Rosé, and Rouge. It is basically wine fortified with citrus liqueurs. Lillet is often enjoyed chilled neat or on the rocks by the French, and it contains more alcohol than a glass of aperitif wine. It also takes the front stage in drinks like the well-known Vesper Martini.


Anis aperitifs will quickly become your fave if you enjoy liquorice. Anise, which has strong liquorice and herbal tastes, is used in several liqueurs around the Mediterranean, including the French Pastis and the Greek Ouzo. If diluted with water and served over ice, they both make excellent aperitif beverages.


Vermouth is another excellent aperitif wine; the name comes from the wormwood plant that is one of its main ingredients. There are two types of vermouth: French dry/white and Italian sweet/red. This wine contains flavours of juniper, coriander, cinnamon, and chamomile. Vermouth is also an essential component of several aperitif drinks, including the traditional Martini and the Negroni.


Composed of gentian, rhubarb, and cinchona, among other ingredients, this vivid orange traditional aperitif is bitter. Drinkable on its own or in cocktails like the well-known aperitif Aperol Spritz, Aperol is a light, zesty, and pleasant beverage.

How To Serve An Aperitif?

Aperitifs should be given cold and in moderation as soon as visitors arrive. They are typically served with appetisers like olives, almonds, cheese, and quiche. Aperitifs, however, also provide a crucial social function: they give dinner guests a chance to socialise and relax into the evening while filling their bellies for dinner.