Aperitif in our A-Z - Cooking Index
An aperitif is an alcoholic drink usually enjoyed as an appetizer before a large meal.
One of the most common aperitifs is sherry, but it varies from region to region. For example, in Greece, ouzo is a common aperitif, whereas in the United States, it would be rare to have ouzo as an aperitif.
In Italian cuisine the aperitivo is very popular, especially in the north of Italy. Milan prides itself as "capital of the aperitif". In Italy, the offering made with the pre-dinner drink can be as small as a few potato chips and olives or as great as an elaborate buffet including hot dishes, pizza and even pasta. In Italy, and especially in Milan, the aperitif is becoming an attraction in itself as many more bars aggressively compete for the "aperitivo" crowd.
In Spain and some countries in Latin America, aperitifs have been a staple of tapas-style cuisine for centuries.
There is no one particular type of alcohol that is always used for apéritifs, although liqueurs are common.