Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Aperitifs

An interesting article in the Times about aperitifs, which, as the article states, have always seemed a bit unapproachable to me:
As a result, today, the terms themselves — aperitif, aperitivo — affect some Americans like headlights do a deer. “They seem like foreign concepts because we’re not accustomed to using the word,” said Eric Seed, owner of Haus Alpenz, the Minnesota-based company responsible for importing Cocchi, Bonal, Zucca and other aperitifs.

But aperitifs are simplicity itself. Pour over ice, add soda water and an orange or lemon twist, and that’s that. The recipes haven’t changed much since the mid-1800s, when aperitifs took root as a popular tradition. Campari, Lillet and Dubonnet are a few of the benchmark creations of that era.

“They stimulate the appetite,” Ms. Miller said. “They do what the term ‘apertivo’ means: a before-dinner stimulant, that allows you to enjoy the aromas and flavors of the food that follows.”
My problem with aperitifs, beyond the above, comes from a nasty experience with Campari on the rocks... which I ordered trying to be sophisticated, I guess? Just wanted to try it? Whatever my motivation, little did I know it is strongly anise flavored (a truly vile flavoring in my opinion)... and just because ending up with a terrible tasting drink wasn't punishment enough, the bartender somehow heard me ask for two drinks. So that was nice... over a decade ago and I'm still scarred.

I think I'll just get a beer before dinner, and it'll just be Belgian if I want to feel worldly.