What is Aperitif?
Aperitifs are the appetizers of the alcohol world. They are low-alcohol beverages, consumed before a meal to spark the appetite. The word aperitif originates from Latin and means “to open”. So, the main mission of aperitif is to stimulate your taste buds. Aperitifs are crisp, light, sometimes bittersweet drinks around 15%-25% ABV.
The culture of aperitifs is widespread in Europe, especially in Italy, Greece, France, and Spain. Usually, the drink is complemented by some snacks and a long nice talk. Drinking aperitif is closely connected with a philosophy of slow living: people are forgetting about their daily problems, slowly enjoying every sip and living in a moment. Seems like we all need a glass of aperitif right now.
Types of Aperitifs
The combination of drink and accompanying snacks are intended to whet the appetite for the upcoming dinner, so aperitifs are usually herbal, bitter, or sparkling. If you still don't have a bottle of nice aperitif at your home bar, here is a sign — you should have one. Here are a few eamples of delicious spirits to choose from.
Vermouth is a fortified wine produced from wine, brandy and a blend of over a hundred aromatic spices, herbs, flavorings, and barks. Among them are wormwood, angelica, anise, bitter almond, camomile, cinnamon, coriander, ginger, quinine, rhubarb, saffron, just to name a few.
Gin and Botanical Spirits are also great aperitifs, and although they have high alcohol content, they are perfect to wake up your appetite thanks to their rich botanical flavors. The main difference between gin and botanical spirit is that the last one doesn't have the juniper-led flavor.
Sherry is an aged fortified white wine that develops a massive complexity due to the distinctive ageing process. Light and fresh Fino and rich and sweet Amontillado are our favorite sherries to drink as aperitives.
Sparkling wines. From classic Champagne, Prosecco, and Cava to more unusual Sparkling Mead. Sparkles are refreshing and sophisticated aperitifs for those who don't like the botanical-forward gin or vermouth.
Non-alcoholic Aperitifs. The fact that you don't consume alcohol doesn't mean that you cannot enjoy an appetizing pre-meal drink. There are plenty of amazing zero booze aperitifs available from Lassou. You can try complex and bittersweet Everleaf Forest, spicy and tropical Caleño Light and Zesty, or floral and fruity Warner's 0% Pink Berry — we always have an option for you!
How to Serve and Drink Aperitifs?
There are no specific rules on how to drink and serve aperitifs. You can drink them neat, over ice, or enjoy in a cocktail. The only thing you need to know is that aperitifs do taste better when served chilled. So make sure you put the bottle in a freezer for at least 30 minutes before drinking.
What is the best time to serve the aperitif? Well, usually it is approximately 30 to 60 minutes before dinner, but, again, there are no strict rules about it.
Difference Between Aperitif and Digestif
Digestifs are post-meal drinks. As comes from the name, digestives aid the digestion of food. They are sweeter and heavier drinks while aperitifs are lighter and dryer.
A digestif is usually consumed neat without water or ice. The best digestives are herbaceous, packed with aromas, and bitter. Dessert wine, cognac, or coffee spirit are great digestives that help settle the stomach and facilitate digestion after a good meal.