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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Odd Aperitifs

Refreshing Beverage of the Week
I am not such a big drinker, I need a really interesting flavors to keep me at the bar, so here are four odd aperitifs I love!

Punte e Mes

This was always my dad’s challenge to a bar that considered itself well-stocked. Punte e Mes is one of the world's most popular red vermouths. It has an aroma of wormwood and hints of bitter herbs. Served over the rocks with a splash of soda, it is exotic in a surprising way — first a taste of cola-like sweetness, then sharply bitter at the back of the tongue, with a complex web of tastes in between.


An alcoholic aperitif obtained from the infusion of sixty ingredients, combined and macerated in a blend of distilled water and alcohol for a couple of weeks. Campari is a type of bitters usually served with soda, it's strong and red and makes a great cocktail with a twist.


This is an Italian bitter aperitif liqueur made from 13 herbs and plants. Most predominant among these is, unusually, the artichoke from which the drink derives its name. Cynar is dark brown in color, has a bittersweet flavor, and its strength is 33 proof (16.5% alcohol). Cynar can be drunk as either an aperitif (generally over ice), or as a cocktail (mixed with soda water and lemon or orange slice, or with cola, tonic water, or bitter lemon soda). Europeans often mix it with orange juice. Because of its artichoke component, Cynar is also regarded as a digestive.


An aperitif wine from the Bordeaux wine region of France. It was created in 1887 by brothers Paul and Raymond Lillet. Originally a very bitter white-wine-based aperitif, the quinine content was reduced in July of 1986. It now comes in both red (Lillet Rouge) and white (Lillet Blanc) varieties, and is typically served over ice, either on its own or with soda water. Drinks made with Lillet are traditionally garnished with a twist of orange.