Apéritif and digestif

An appetizer (also aperitif, as a shorthand, especially in Switzerland and aperitif ) is usually alcoholic beverage that is consumed before a meal to stimulate the appetite and mood for the upcoming meal. During the aperitif is an integral part in the Romanesque -influenced cooking traditions such as the French and Italian cuisine, he will, Austria and the Nordic kitchens comparatively rarely served in Germany.

The aperitif also has a social function and serves to shorten the waiting time until the guests serving dishes, or to bridge until all have arrived and you can go to the table.

As an aperitif, certain spirits, wines, sparkling wines, beer and certain short drinks (Before -dinner cocktails ) are suitable. There are a variety of regional preferences and fashion trends. In southern France, the classic aperitif is a pastis, in Burgundy the Church. Also, the sherry is a common appetizer. Unusually are appetizers that contain milk or egg as protein or fat components contribute to satiety sensation. Go to menu and the wines to gereichten the aperitif should also fit, for example, no sweet aperitif before a bitter aperitif wine or not on ice in front of a hot soup.

Aperitif Often small appetizers or snacks served, such as pistachios, olives, etc.; so can aperitif including the drink in conjunction with trifles gereichten call.

Known aperitif cocktails:

  • Campari Variations: Campari Soda, Campari Orange, Americano, Negroni
  • Aperol Variations: Aperol Royal, Aperol Sour, Italian Gipsy, Florida, Spritz ( Prosecco with Aperol )
  • Manhattan and its variations: Affinity, Bobby Burns, Brooklyn, Rob Roy, Rory O'More
  • Dry martini and its variations
  • Kir, often Kir Royal


The present meaning of the word aperitif as " alcoholic beverage ( for stimulating the appetite ) " developed in the 19th century in the French language and was adopted by the French phonetic form into German in the 20th century. In an earlier use, as a specialist word of medicine concerned with the meaning " opening, laxative remedy ", it was already in the 16th century from the Middle Latin aper ( i) tivus ( " opening " ), to Latin aperīre ( " open " ), in the German language has been borrowed.

Appetizer in bars

As Aperitivo not only the aperitif, but also the habit is called in Italy, evening meetings in the cities to the drink in bars and pubs with friends, including small snacks are eaten. Especially popular is this form of evening or midday aperitif in Milan, where this custom should be initially arisen in connection with the coming of Campari here. The Spaniards arrange to meet for just this purpose, the term Tapeo derived from tapas, including also alcohol is drunk.

In northern Italy, the aperitivo culture is prevalent in all the cities of Lombardy, as well as in the neighboring provinces as well as in many ski resorts in the Alps. In many bars in Genoa, Turin, Rome and Naples, the aperitivo is known, but in the southern part of Italy and on the islands, he hardly exists. In Friuli- Venezia Giulia and in most parts of the Veneto Aperitivo takes place according to local customs as pre- finite meetings with wine and appetizers.

Aperitif in Switzerland

In Switzerland the term aperitif has another meaning. He referred to a kind of cocktail party to be served at the small pastries and drinks, comparable with finger food. After that does not necessarily follow a meal. For example, it is customary to host a " welcome drink " for the new work colleagues when starting in a new job.

An aperitif riche in German Switzerland, or aperitif (or apéritif ) déjeunatoire in francophone Switzerland, is a particularly rich aperitif, so basically a snack. That is, it serves not only olives and salted biscuits, but also sandwiches, dips, various pastries, etc.

References and footnotes

Related drinks

In contrast to the digestive aperitif will be served after the meal.