The Italian word aperitivo
originates from the Latin aperire
, which means "to open." It's an apt term - crisp, clean, light and aromatic, spirit or wine-based aperitifs are most often enjoyed on their own – or further diluted with soda, juice, and ice, and they open the palate to allow us to enjoy the scents and flavours of the food that follows.
In France, the most popular aperitifs are wine-based and flavoured with plants and spices. If you enjoy red wines, consider trying Dubonnet
. It's usually served with sparkling water or soda, though the Queen reportedly prefers mixing two parts of this liqueur with one part of gin. For white wine fans, Lillet
iis a perfect choice. It has a honey-like texture which underpins the soft citrusy and spicy notes. For those who like something stronger, check out Pastis
, an aniseed flavoured French spirit which is diluted with water to become an opaque yellow.
Italians invented the world's most famous aperitif – spritz
. Its traditional version, Spritz Veneziano or Aperol Spritz, includes Prosecco wine, Aperol liqueur and soda water. For those seeking something less sweet, there's Cynar
: blended from 13 herbs and plants, including artichoke, it's an amaro liqueur, famous for its stomach-soothing qualities and generally has a low alcohol and sugar content.