Last updated: August 9, 2021

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The word aperitif comes from the word "aperitivus", which means "stomach-opening". This also describes the function of the aperitif exactly. It is intended to stimulate the appetite without having a satiating effect and to prepare the guest for the meal.

Whether in summer or winter, an aperitif is always a great way to get guests in the mood for a relaxed evening and simply loosen up the atmosphere. In addition, an aperitif shortens the waiting time for the meal. All in all, providing an aperitif is a very hospitable and simple way to welcome your guests.




Summary

  • You should decide which aperitif to buy based on taste, alcohol content, occasion, quantity and place of origin.
  • There are many different types of aperitifs, so you have a wide variety of choices and can get creative by adding other drinks as needed.
  • You can serve light food with the aperitif. Small appetisers are suitable, which you can enhance with dips.

The Best Aperitif: Our Choices

Buying and rating criteria for aperitifs

In order to find the most suitable aperitif for your taste, we have compiled the most important criteria that you should consider when buying an aperitif. The criteria also help you decide between the many aperitifs available on the market.

Alcohol content

When choosing an aperitif, you should pay attention to the alcohol content. A lower alcohol content is usually advantageous, as the drink is mainly regarded as an introduction to an evening.

The aperitif should not get your guests drunk immediately, but merely stimulate their appetite and loosen them up. It is important to note that your guests will most likely not have eaten much yet, so a higher alcohol content would also have a much quicker effect.

Most aperitifs have an alcohol content of around 15% by volume. However, if you want to offer a cocktail as an aperitif with a high-proof alcohol, you can prevent the alcohol content from being too high by using a little less of the high-proof alcohol.

Taste

The traditional aperitif should whet the guests' appetite for the meal to come. Therefore, you should preferably offer drinks that have a fruity, bitter or tart note. The flavours stimulate the appetite.

In addition, most aperitifs are carbonated and should also be served chilled for a refreshing effect. You should avoid drinks containing eggs or milk. They have an immediate satiating effect and reduce appetite.

Occasion

Which aperitif you offer is a very individual decision, but you should still make sure that the aperitif fits the occasion. For example, if you are inviting guests who are not yet familiar to you, it is always practical to use a classic aperitif. This could be champagne, sparkling wine, etc.

With more well-known people, you can be much more experimental with a fancy cocktail or similar. The season can also influence the type of aperitif. An aperitif in summer can be very refreshing with fruit, ice cubes, etc., while an aperitif in winter can be a bit more unusual. In winter, you can use winter spices, such as orange, for the aperitif.

Quantity

The quantity of the aperitif you buy should be determined by the number of people who will be served the aperitif. You can stick to a litre quantity of 0.1l per person. Most aperitifs are usually available in quantities of 0.7-1 litre.

Place of origin

The provision of an aperitif is particularly well known in Italian and French cuisine. Accordingly, some aperitifs also come from France or Italy. While in France sparkling wine, sherry, Lillet, etc. are often offered, in Italy there are often Aperol or vermouth drinks with the aperitif.

So you can orientate yourself on the classic aperitif ideas or, of course, decide individually in which direction you would like to go.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about aperitifs answered in detail

In the following section, we deal with basic questions on the topic of "aperitifs" in order to provide you with a deeper insight into the entire topic and to clarify possible open questions.

Who is an aperitif suitable for?

Providing an aperitif is always a very good and hospitable custom that, among other things, always lightens the mood a little. An aperitif is particularly suitable if you have prepared a special meal and want to stimulate the appetite of your guests with the aperitif.

The aperitif can be beautifully enhanced by a beautiful glass and the addition of fresh fruit and ice cubes. (Image source: Dstudio Bcn / Unsplash)

An aperitif is also a great way to enhance a fancier occasion, such as a wedding. When serving, you should take special care to serve the drink beautifully. This can be done with beautiful champagne glasses or long drink glasses, among other things.

What types of aperitifs are there?

When it comes to choosing between aperitifs, there are a variety of options so that you can find the right aperitif for you. There is the option of serving a classic, chilled sparkling wine, such as champagne, prosecco or sparkling wine.

You can also mix the sparkling wines with a liqueur or syrup to create a more exotic aperitif. This could be a mixture of sparkling wine and Aperol or elderflower syrup.

There is also the possibility of offering cocktails for the aperitif with a high-proof alcohol. A very popular cocktail for an aperitif is, for example, gin and tonic.

Non-alcoholic drinks, such as fruit juices diluted with carbonated water, are also very suitable as aperitifs.

What does an aperitif cost?

The price of aperitifs is mainly determined by whether the product is a classic aperitif or rather a product that is special, e.g. in its production or in its origin.

Price range Available products
Low-priced 10- 15 € mostly copies of original aperitifs
Medium-priced 15 - 25 €) classic aperitifs (originals)
High-priced 25 - 35 €) special aperitifs

You can already make a find with the low-priced aperitifs. In many cases, they taste similar to some original products. However, if you want to be sure, you should go for the medium-priced products. If you want to create a very special aperitif, you should buy the high-priced products.

What to serve with the aperitif?

Since an aperitif is served before the meal, the appetisers that are offered with it should not be very large or very filling, as the aperitif serves primarily to stimulate the appetite. Olives or grissini (breadsticks) with small dips are very suitable as small appetisers.

What is the difference between an aperitif and a digestif?

An aperitif is served before the meal and serves to stimulate the appetite of the guests, to shorten the waiting time for the meal and to lighten the atmosphere. Usually, the aperitif is a light and refreshing drink.

In principle, a digestif is the opposite of an aperitif. It is taken especially after heavy meals and is intended to help digest the food. In most cases, the digestif is a heavy spirit, such as ouzo or grappa.

Conclusion

When choosing an aperitif, you should pay particular attention to the occasion for which you are offering it, which and how many people will be present and what type of aperitif you would like to offer. The classic aperitifs are sparkling wine, champagne and prosecco and can be mixed with other liqueurs or syrups according to individual preferences.

If you want to offer a more exotic aperitif, you can also provide cocktails. However, you should make sure that the alcohol content of the aperitif is not too high. Otherwise, you are very free in your choice of aperitif. There is a wide variety of drinks that you can serve.

Cover photo: Federica Ariemma/ unsplash

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