Popularized in France, the apéritif (or aperitivo in Italian) is a bittersweet botanical beverage meant for sipping slowly pre-dinner. The word apéritif comes from the Latin amperire meaning “to open up,” which makes a lot of sense when you think about what apéritifs actually do.
Let’s pause for a brief history lesson. Way back when, let’s say sometime in the 18th century, tavern keepers started adding spices and herbs to their drinks to soothe the stomach and curb the effects of a stiff drink. Clearly, the solution stuck, which is why these days apéritifs are still defined by their bevy of bitter botanicals. These ingredients, from gentian root and hops to sage and grapefruit, work to stimulate your taste buds.
All that bitter is balanced out with bright citrus, fresh fruit, and earthy herbs, and enjoyed alongside an assortment of amuse-buche. For the uninitiated, that’s a fancy French word that literally means mouth amuser (I mean… come on), but less literally translates to bite-sized apps like crackers and cheese, marinated olives, and Marcona almonds. Basically, all the things we want to be eating, all of the time.
Traditionally apéritifs and their accompanying amuse-buche are there to whet your appetite and get the conversation going before a decadent meal. But for us? We love to sip and snack on them any old night, whether we’re chilling at home or having a party with our friends. That’s really the beauty of apéritifs, in our not so humble opinion. They’re casually sophisticated, made for small sips out of cute glasses and chill evenings chatting with our friends.
And unlike the apéritifs of yore, ours are made to be pre-spritzed and booze-free. That means you can kick back and relax with a glass in hand thanks to adaptogens, not alcohol. And better yet: zero proof gives you an excuse to fill up your glass as many times as you’d like. Cheers to having even more to love.