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French term (also aperitif) for alcoholic drinks drunk before a meal as an appetiser. Such drinks, mostly flavoured with spices, were already popular in antiquity. After the Latin "aperire" (to open = "to open the stomach"), the Romans called them "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 everyone has arrived before the food is served. In Italy, as well as in Switzerland, aperitivo is not only the drink itself, but also the traditional habit of meeting friends in the evening for a drink in bars and pubs, accompanied by small appetisers.

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