What’s an aperitif?


Ever arrived at a restaurant early and had a drink at the bar? Ever opted for a cocktail instead of an appetizer? If so, you’ve had an aperitif.

The word gets tossed around so often that it’s easy to lose sight of what it means. It’s tempting to associate aperitifs (or aperitivos) with white-tablecloth restaurants and expensive bottles, but the concept is very simple.

An aperitif is a drink that’s consumed before a meal in order to whet the appetite. It’s a beverage that prepares your palate, mind, and stomach for the food and occasion to come.

At Artet, we believe that any drink that gets you in the mood to eat is an aperitif. However, if you ask a mixologist or a foodie, they’d probably mention a few “rules.”

What counts as an aperitif?

Technically speaking, the term “aperitif” applies only to alcoholic beverages. We believe that this rule can and should be broken. That’s why we made an alcohol-free, cannabis aperitif, but we’ll get to that later.

Aperitifs come in all shapes and sizes. You could move from champagne to pastis and still be under the aperitif umbrella. What makes a beverage an aperitif is its ability to stimulate the appetite. As it turns out, drinks that get our stomach going tend to share a few key characteristics.

  • The best aperitifs are dry. Pre-dinner drinks should be low in added sugar, or at least taste that way. Syrupy beverages fill you up, and saturate your palate. If you drink a bunch of beers before dinner, you’ll likely feel full by the time your food hits the table. Dry beverages—like brut nature champagne—activate your appetite and get your taste buds in the mood.
  • Aperitifs are usually sessionable or low proof. If you walk into the aperitif aisle at your local liquor store, you’ll notice that most of the beverages on display aren’t much stronger than wine. Alcohol can fry your taste buds, and leave you drunk before dinner. Dry martinis are a notable exception to the low ABV rule, but most of us learn the hard way that having more than one martini is a gamble. Ultimately, you’ll get more out of pre-dinner drinks that are sessionable.
  • Botanical, herbaceous, and bitter beverages set us up best for foodThat’s why the list of popular aperitifs includes Campari and other amaros, pastis, ouzo, and gin. Dry white wines, brut champagne, and fortified wines like fino, amontillado, or dry sherry are also popular options. Let the adjectives above guide you in your quest for the perfect aperitivo.

If this is all starting to sound complicated, simply seek out a drink that’s bright, dry, sippable, or even a little bitter before your next meal. You’ll start to understand what makes an aperitif an aperitif in no time.

What’s an infused aperitif? 

In the realm of food and beverage, as in all realms of life, breaking the rules can lead to great discoveries. In our case, taking alcohol out of the equation and replacing it with THC led us to create a new kind of pre-dinner drink.

The original THC-infused aperitif is heavily inspired by the famous flavors of Italian aperitivos. It’s a blend of botanicals, citrus, and THC. It’s sessionable, bright, and for obvious reasons, it’s incredibly food-friendly.

As you dive into aperitivo culture, make sure you don’t miss out on the beverage that’s redefining pre-dinner drinking. Do your next dinner justice with an aperitif, maybe even make it an Artet.