Prendiamo un Aperitivo!!
Let’s have an aperitif
The word Aperitif largely remains a relatively new word in the landscape of the ‘opener’ or pre dinner drink, in this country. Behind those nine letters, there is much more than a simple drink to share in company or before a meal.
The etymology of the word is derived from, aperir, Latin for the phrase, ‘to open’. And its roots are so established in history many argue the ancient Greeks & Romans might have originated the ritual of having a nibble accompanied by a beverage.
In the 5th Century BC the founder of medicine, Hippocratis suggested to his patients that suffered from a limited appetite, to drink a medicinal beverage made from sweet or dry wine that had been macerated with herbs or plants, usually dittany, absinthe or rue. The Romans used to add rosemary and sage to make a similar drink that was more pleasant & less bitter.
During the middle ages Monks in monasteries developed their understanding of medicine, particularly pharmacology. They discovered that bitter beverages triggered various parts of the palate and began the digestive process which then stimulates a sense of hunger.
The end of the 18 century signalled the dawn of the first aperitif ever made in large production. It was designed to be consumed in bars & restaurants. The Aperitif became very popular when Antonio Carpano sent as homage to his Italian King Vittorio Emanuele II, a special concoction made in 1786, he was inspired by a German wine flavoured with wormwood, a herb most famously used in distilling absinthe.
The modern German word Wermut (Wermuth in the spelling of Carpano’s time) means both wormwood and vermouth, which soon changed. As the King renamed the beverage “Punt e Mes” or ‘One & a Half’ in the local Turin dialect, referring to the beverage as being not too sweet or bitter. The vermouth was proclaimed the official aperitif of the Royal Court.
Wine producer Martini in partnership with Mr Rossi, started a business with a new aperitif concept based on the use of Moscato wine and the maceration of lemon balm, sandalwood, wormwood, violets, quina, thistle, rose and oregano.
It became very popular, especially by younger ladies because of the sweetness, men weren’t to be excluded, Mr Rossi knew he was onto a good thing when he made Martini produce a dry iteration using dry white wines as the base.
In 1962 Mr Gaspare Campari, famous for his coffee bar in Milan, introduced a new drink at the time called “bitter” it had an immediate success that was later renamed bitter Campari.
Today there are several kinds of Aperitif and several combinations to make aperitif. Nonetheless all the famous brand that you can find in the bar, we want to remain faithful to few great aperitifs that have never failed, Carpano antica formula, Punt e Mes, Aperol and Campari.
Have a refreshing drink before you start your dining experience!
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