Aperitifs come from the root word “aperire” which means to open up. These kinds of alcoholic drinks are good companions for appetizers as they enhance your palate. They are normally dry as sweet drinks are reserved as digestifs, a type of alcohol for after the meal. There are many types of aperitifs in the market today and choosing one for your next event may be confusing. This guide will show you how to buy aperitifs, along with some links on where to buy alcoholic aperitif beverages and a few cocktail mixes you can try out.
- Aperitifs. There are many types of aperitifs out there. Wine is a popular aperitif, like sherry and other fortified wines. However, ouzo, the Greek alcoholic drink made from aniseed and arak, and the Turkish variant are also good aperitifs. Liqueurs, bitters, and dry champagne are also wonderful additions to your bar should you ever decide on buying them. Dry wines and other dry alcohol are generally regarding as better aperitifs than sweet ones, as they don’t destroy the palate before eating. Sweet ones are good digestifs, as they remove the aftertaste of the food and ease in the sharp sweetness of dessert.
- Types. In the States, several common brands are good as aperitifs. Gin and vodka are great aperitifs as they stimulate your appetite and have generally no aftertaste. Flavored gin and vodka is not recommended as the whole point of aperitifs is to dull the palate and make the food taste better. Vermouth and Crème de Cassis are good liqueurs served as aperitifs. Bitters enhance the digestive system by stimulating the gallbladder to release bile, which in turn makes you hungry. Campari is a good bitter that is normally sold in bottles and can be drunk neat or cold. Temperatures vary from drink to drink. Wines and sherries are generally served in a frosted glass without ice while vermouth can be served with ice.
- Complementary fare. A good host should always know what food is good with what drink. When serving fortified wines, cheeses like gorgonzola or other blue cheese are good with crackers while ouzo, the Greek aniseed liquor is good with Greek fare like olives, feta cheese, and crackers. The complimentary mixture of the strong smell and flavors of olives and feta cheese will entice your palate while clearing the mouth of leftover crackers. When serving French Hors d'œuvres, anisette is a good choice for an aperitif with canapés, or devilled eggs.
- Recipes. A few good recipes include a gin vermouth cocktail by combining 2 ½ ounces of gin with ½ oz. of dry vermouth in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain the ice and serve in a martini glass. Another good mixture is a Kir Royale aperitif combining one part crème de cassis with four parts sparkling wine or champagne.
- Shopping. Good places to shop for wines and other ingredients in the recipes or simply straight up aperitifs include wine.com, atasteofgreece.net, drinksdirect.co.uk, and champagnewines.com.
Aperitifs come in different tastes, shapes, and sizes. Hopefully, this guide has helped you in choosing not only the aperitifs for your next event, but also what to serve with them. Drinking aperitifs is good for people who need a stimulant for eating. And of course, drink in moderation. Cheers!