An aperitif is an alcoholic drink usually enjoyed before a meal. It comes from the French word for ‘open’ (as in to open the stomach) and is designed to whet one’s appetite prior to eating. They are considered a social ritual and are particularly popular in Italy and France.

Aperitifs are relatively low in alcohol content and have a dry or bitter flavour. This is because they are supposed to prepare the palate, rather than be consumed to inebriation. They can take many forms, be that as a liqueur, cocktail or glass of champagne, but are usually served in small volumes. 

Two of the most popular aperitifs are Aperol and Campari, which are both known for their bright colour and bitter taste. Other classic examples include Vermouth, Pastis and Suze

You can find a range of aperitifs at House of Malt, including an intriguing English release from Aker.

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