Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Aperitifs are Back!

When it comes to going out to your favorite restaurant or bar, what is your drink of choice? Are you one that starts with a martini or a glass of wine? Are you one of those shot and a beer people to take the edge off? Or one that looks for a suggestion from the bartender?

Everyone has their "go to" drink, and finding the perfect match becomes part of your routine. So, what are you in the mood for? A drink can be a comforting way to unwind and relax or even be a conversation starter with friends or complete strangers. I want to remind you of the "original" go to drinks of choice when dining out, aperitifs.

The aperitif is a beverage, usually consumed before a meal, that is designed to "stimulate" the appetite. With bartenders around the world introducing more and more creative recipes for cocktails, the aperitif brings you back to the basics.


For some, the aperitif never left.  For most others, it may be something they have never heard of. Either way, in our current culture, the aperitif is back... and we have several to choose from.

The aperitif is often enjoyed with appetizers, and it is customary and wise to limit yourself to just a few. After all, this is merely the introduction to the evening. Aperitifs come in many forms. From cocktails, spirits and wine to even some beers such as crisp, tart lambics. There is such a wide variety that your drink of choice may already be classified as an aperitif. One thing all aperitifs have in common is they are low in alcohol but high in flavor.

Here is a list of some of the most common aperitifs that are available from our back bar:

Vermouth
This is probably the most widely known and one of the very first aperitifs. It is most commonly used in martinis but also enjoyed by itself...on the rocks.

Cynar
An Italian bitter liqueur made from 13 different plants and herbs, most known for artichoke. Generally served over ice or mixed with soda water and an orange or lemon slice.

Campari
Another Italian creation made from the infusions of herbs and fruit. Most often served with citrus fruit such as orange juice or soda water with orange.

Fernet Branca
Herb and fruit infusion of myrh, rhubarb, chamomile, cardomom and saffron with a grape base. This drink has become one of the most popular spirits in Latin America often mixed with cola.

Dubonnet Rouge
This is a sweet, wine based aperitif made from several herbs and spices. Usually served on the rocks with a twist.

Pimm's #1
This English aperitif is a gin based cocktail with spices and fruit. This beverage is commonly mixed with lemonade or ginger ale.

Pernod
This anise flavored aperitif is usually served on the rocks.

Bonal Gentiane
A French aperitif that is an infusion of herbs like gentian and chinchona bark (also called quina, the source of quinine) in a fortified wine base that was first made in 1865.

Next time you are in, start your night out right! 
Ask one of our friendly bartenders for a suggestion, and choose from one the many aperitifs we offer!


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