French term (also called aperitif) for alcoholic beverages drunk before a meal as an appetizer. Such drinks, mostly flavoured with spices, were already popular in ancient times. After the Latin "aperire" (open = "to open the stomach") the Romans called it "Aperitivum". The honey wine Mulsum was particularly popular. Especially in France and Italy, the aperitif is a fixed component of a good meal. It is served to arriving guests as a "welcome drink" to shorten the waiting time until dinner. In Italy, an aperitif is not only the drink itself, but also the traditional habit of meeting friends for a drink in bars and pubs in the evening, with small snacks.
Alcoholic drinks such as beer, punch, cocktails, spirits, drinking vinegar (aperitif vinegar), sparkling wines, acid-stressed white wines and flavoured wines are suitable as aperitifs, but also non-alcoholic drinks such as spiced tomato juice or freshly pressed grapefruit juice. Especially in Italy, sweet aperitifs are also enjoyed. An aperitif must always go well with the menu or the wines served afterwards. Important restrictions are, for example, no sweet aperitif before a dry wine or no iced aperitif before a hot soup. The most popular and well-known aperitifs are Campari (Campari soda, Campari orange), Cartagène, Kir (Kir Royal), Manhattan, Martini cocktail and sherry. Matching drinks are again served with dessert. See also under dessert wine, digestif (after dinner drink) and wine with food.
Complete lists of the numerous vinification measures and/or cellar techniques, as well as the various types of wine, sparkling wine and distillate regulated by wine law are included under the keyword vinification. Comprehensive information on wine law can be found under the keyword wine law.