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Aperitifs & Bitters

Aperitifs & Bitters

Aperitifs and bitters are alcoholic drinks that are usually served before a meal. Aperitif means ‘to open’ in Latin. The purpose of Aperitifs is to stimulate the appetite and cleanse the palette before a meal is served. They usually taste fairly dry and bitter. Some bitters are also served as digestifs, which are drinks served after a meal. The purpose of these drinks is to aid digestion and settle the stomach.

Bitters usually have around a 45% ABV and are flavoured with herb essences. These before and after dinner drinks are very popular in European and South American countries. You can drink them neat, or with ice depending on your personal preference.

History of Aperitifs and bitters
Aperitifs were introduced in 1846 by a French chemist who made the herb blend to disguise the sharp taste of a malaria medicine called quinine. The aperitif went on to be used by soldiers working in mosquito-infested places like Northern Africa. It is believed by many that the act of drinking a small amount of alcohol before a meal dates all the way back to the ancient Egyptian times.

During the 19th century Aperitifs and bitters began to gain popularity in Italy. They were served at the country’s most fashion cafes in places like Rome and Venice. The trend spread throughout Europe in the late century.

Different types of aperitifs and bitters
There is not one standard aperitif or bitter as each country producers its own versions. Generally speaking they are a huge class of liquors and fortified wines which have been fused with herbal flavourings. In many places champagne, sherry, vermouth and bitters are popular aperitifs. Today aperitifs and bitters are commonly used in cocktails too.

If you are looking for a fantastic selection of aperitifs and bitters then you have certainly come to the right place. Here at Beers of Europe we offer a variety of different aperitifs and bitters from all over the world.

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