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French term (also aperitif) for alcoholic drinks drunk before a meal as an appetiser. Such drinks, usually flavoured with spices, were already popular in antiquity. The Romans called them "aperitivum" after the Latin "aperire" (to open = "to open the stomach"). The honey wine mulsum was particularly popular. In France and Italy in particular, the aperitif is an integral part of a good meal. It is served to arriving guests as a "welcome drink" to shorten the waiting time until dinner. In Italy, 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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