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aperitif before dinner?


jgould
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1. Campari in all its forms. My favorite - shakerato.

2. Prosecco with a generous dollop of Aperol.

:biggrin:

The italianisation of Mr. Camp(o) :cool:

BTW, Campari group has recently bought Barbero 1891 (owner of Aperol brands) for EUR 150M. They're now hitting with TV advertising on Aperol Spritz.

Cheers,

Alberto

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I've always enjoyed a glass of beer, but not been too eager to mention that as everyone thinks it's too filling before dinner. Interestingly enough during our last trips to Spain, we often saw people enjoying a beer before dinner and then ordering a bottle of wine with dinner. Spain produces one of the world's great aperitifs in my mind, and that's a Fino sherry or perhaps even better, Manzanilla from Sanlucar de Barrameda near Jerez, which is superb with seafood tapas, olives and almonds. Both of those are dry, and the Manzanilla almost seems salty.

At the opposite pole are the sweet aperitifs the French drink. This includes Muscats, which more often show up in the states on the dessert wine list. In France, I'll see them offered as an aperitif, but order them myself for dessert. Over the years, I've developed some taste for them, but generally a Kir is about as sweet an aperitif as I like. That's a bit of creme de cassis in a glass of white wine--inexpensive Burgundy for perference if it's called "Kir," but almost any white will do in a "vin blanc cassis." By the same token, most fruit based sweet liquers can be used in lieu of the classic creme de cassis. Mrs. B like her Kir to be white wine slighly colored. I'll take a healthier dose of liquer, but our daughter's in-laws in Brittany make it about half and half. That's sweet. I think it's a sin to adulterate really fine champagne, but a Kir Royale is a nice aperatif.

Proseco, cava and a host of other sparkling wines make fine aperitifs with and without additions.

I've rarely enjoyed Pastis in a restaurant--in fact, I rarely see it in a restaurant in France and it's made too strong with too little water in NY--but I have had it as a pre dinner drink in friends' homes in southern France. It's a good cafe drink however.

As for those trademarked French bottled aperatifs, I hardly see them in restaurants. I think they may be a product of another era and possibly ready for a nostalgic comeback. I see a lot of composed cocktails or aperatifs in better restaurants in France. Most are champagne or wine based and generally seem like a way to jack up the bill. That's a good reason for me to order a bottle of white wine to start and drink it with the amuse, but champagne, I will admit, is always an alluring choice and the one I'll make without thinking.

champagne!!

I'll drink to that. :biggrin:

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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1. Campari in all its forms. My favorite - shakerato.

I'm also a big fan of Campari before dinner. If I'm not having a Negroni, I may have an Americano, else, I guess to qualify as an "aperitif' I'll just have it on the rocks w/a orange twist.

I looked up the 'Shakerato' and that sounds great too--few dashes of lemon juice, shaken over ice and served up straight with a lemon peel.

For another mood: Champagne

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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re: Bux - excellent reply & thx.

as per a "kir", i have always been told the classic is: add creme de cassis to an aligote, the secondary white of burgundy, to soften its rough edge.

in the US, 99/100 serve a "kir" with either a white burgundy, or a sauvignon blanc which simply is a waste of good chardonnay or sauvignon blanc :biggrin:

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re: Bux - excellent reply & thx.

as per a "kir", i have always been told the classic is: add creme de cassis to an aligote, the secondary white of burgundy, to soften its rough edge.

in the US, 99/100 serve a "kir" with either a white burgundy, or a sauvignon blanc which simply is a waste of good chardonnay or sauvignon blanc :biggrin:

Absolultely. The classic wine for a Kir is an aligoté. It seemed too esoteric to mention it. I've seen very few bottlings of the varietal, especially here in the US and I suspect there are fewer plantings of it in Burgundy than there used to be. Its certainly hasn't disappeared. Doing a search on potatoe + aligote, the traditional potato dish from the Auvergne, I was surprised that most of the links were to pages that happened to mention both potatoes and bourgogne aligoté, rather than to the potato dish. I also suspect the grape is underrated and has suffered in popularity due to chardonnay's unfortunate popular success. I agree that it's a waste to use a fine wine to make a Kir. Just as the syrupy creme de cassis masks the acidity of an aligoté, its sweetness will mask the qualities of a better wine.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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We like sweet wines, muscat, muscatel, port, martini, marsala, etc. Sherry when we can get it, the French don't normally drink it. Pastis is always an option. Champagne, cremant de Bourgogne, or a clairette are always great with salty things served to whet the appetite. In the summer I have been offered nice cold beer before dinner, which is always welcome. It's true, in France people rarely ever have a glass of wine as an aperetif, although a few times I have seen a sauterene served in a festive glass.

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How about Cognac ?

I was in a wine-tasting this morning and at the end an importer pulls out a bottle of Cognac Charpentry VS Seduction and on the side of the label "Aperitif Cognac" was specified.

The Cognac was fruity, light bodied with a rather sharp finish. Probably designed for mixing.

I knew about Aperitifs like cognac with Tonic or Ginger ale mostly intended for the Japanese market but to see that in Europe,,,wow!

Andre Suidan

I was taught to finish what I order.

Life taught me to order what I enjoy.

The art of living taught me to take my time and enjoy.

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How about Cognac ?

In addition to kir, there are a lot of wine based aperitif drinks, some of which use spirits such as brandy.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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We like sweet wines, ...

One of the nicests aperitifs I've had has been a bottle of coteaux du layon served with some little roquefort filled pastries. It was served to us by an American food writer in Paris.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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How about Cognac ?

In addition to kir, there are a lot of wine based aperitif drinks, some of which use spirits such as brandy.

I guess we all played around with the stuff but to have the word "aperitif" written on a cognac label ?

Looks like this region is coming out of the closet.

Andre Suidan

I was taught to finish what I order.

Life taught me to order what I enjoy.

The art of living taught me to take my time and enjoy.

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