Dear Test Kitchen

What Is an Apéritif, Anyway?

Here's how to have cocktail hour the French way.

June 20, 2019

Welcome to Apéritif 101! We’re so glad you’re here. So is our instructor, Rebekah Peppler, a writer, food stylist, and author of Apéritif. She’s here to answer all our apéritif questions, like: Um, what’s an apéritif? And which apéritifs are ideal for a home bar? And what’s the deal with shaking versus stirring cocktails? Watch the latest Dear Test Kitchen episode above for the answers, and then some.

Psst: Have a topic or question that you want to see as a future Dear Test Kitchen episode? Ask it in our Hotline! Josh is keeping his eye out.


Pre-Dinner Drinks

Suze Tonic

This bright, bitter, floral drink comes by way of Rebekah’s book. “In an easy twist on the standard G&T, subbing in assertive Suze adds an earthy, oral bitterness to the drink while also lowering the alcohol content,” she writes. “Drink two!”

Aperitivo Frizzante

Here’s an easy-to-remember formula: 1 part bitter Italian liqueur, like amaro. 3 parts Prosecco. Orange twist in each glass, plus ice if you want it (I want it).

Cynar Spritz

Aperol spritzes may be all the rage, but I personally prefer a Cynar spritz. While the color isn’t as pretty, Cynar’s flavor is more complex and bitter, thanks to a slew of plants and herbs, including—wait for it—artichokes.


Snacks to Go With

Furikake Chex Mix

Think you love Chex mix? Just wait until you add a jar of furikake—a Japanese seasoning, usually made with sesame seeds, seaweed, sugar, salt, dried fish, and MSG.

Five Spice Oven Roasted Nuts

Cocktails love roasted nuts. Especially these ones, which are tossed with five spice (a Chinese mixture featuring ingredients like cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and fennel) and some chili powder for good measure.

Sautéed Dates

Serve these as Seattle-based chef Renee Erickson does: next to a mountain of fluffy ricotta. Some crackers or crostini wouldn’t be unwelcome, either.

This post contains products that are independently selected by our editors, and Food52 may earn an affiliate commission. What’s your favorite apéritif? Tell us in the comments.

Join the Conversation

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Laurence Tillett
    Laurence Tillett
  • Pgh Dutch
    Pgh Dutch
  • Candace G Frates
    Candace G Frates
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    Josee Brisson
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    Nathalie Théberge
Comment
Emma is a writer and recipe developer at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing stories about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now, she lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter.

5 Comments

Laurence T. July 19, 2019
Aperol spritz is my personal favorite. However, discovered Pavan recently at a local restaurant that makes what they call “Florida Bubble”. Pavan, Prosecco, splash of soda. Slightly sweet...my hubby’s favorite.
 
Pgh D. July 19, 2019
I’d just make an Aperol Spritz....
 
Candace G. July 3, 2019
Jake, NOT a rap vid. Cool it with the gesticulating, so we can focus on the cool ideas you share! Love ya!
 
Josee B. June 26, 2019
Excellent & very informative vid! Thanks!
 
Nathalie T. June 22, 2019
nice and informative presentation but please Food52 folks, we do not pronounce the 'c' at the end of blanc in French ! EVER ! it's a silent 'c'.