The modern aperitif: from the origins to the new forms of aperitif

The modern aperitif: from the origins to the new forms of aperitif

The aperitif is a tradition with unexpectedly ancient roots, linked to flavored wines: we retrace its history until today.

The flavored wines , of which absinthe was one of the key ingredients, representing a more than thousand-year tradition; several authors of classical culture report recipes used for their preparation,aromatized wines, protagonists of the modern aperitif, have a more than millennial traditionwith a mostly medicinal purpose, first of all the Greek physician Hippocrates, and after him the Roman Galen (2nd century AD), attributed to the vinum absinthiatum the ability to ” vary the state of the organism“. As for the recipes for hedonistic-gastronomic use, the first mentions are found already in the 1st century AD but with the collapse of the Roman Empire the complex winemaking recipes transmitted by the Latin writers were forgotten for a long time and only starting from the 12th century new wine recipes for absinthe appeared again in the medieval Pharmacopoeias, where the cure of diseases was heavily based on the use of vegetables. It is in fact in the thirteenth century that the famous Catalan doctor and alchemist Arnaldo da Villanova wrote, among his other works, the famous “De vinis”, containing many recipes of medicinal wines that were used as such until the eighteenth century.


In Germany, when the production of absinthe wine began to be described in the Pharmacopoeia, the term Wermuthwein was used , a term that will return to Italy under the German form, in particular in Piedmont. In fact, in the eighteenth century in Germany there was in fact the habit of commonly drinking Wermouthwein especially in the morning, due to its characteristics as a healthy drink and this habit soon spread beyond the German borders. In the eighteenth century the ruling houses of Savoy and Austria faded very close relations due to the marriage between Charles Emmanuel III of Savoy and Elizabeth Teresa of Lorraine, sister of the Austrian emperor Francis I and their son Benedetto, Duke of Chiablese, which maintains very close relations with the maternal lineage, comes the completely new habit for Piedmont, of consuming vermouth, the Wermouthwein of Austrian origin. Hence the birth, if not of the aperitif as we know it today, of the custom of sipping this wine flavored with numerous herbs which, adding to the bitter base of absinthe, give it rich and complex flavors and aromas.


Vermouth as we know it today was born from the Piedmontese liqueur tradition in the mid-1700s and soon became a luxury wine , already served in all the elegant cafes of Turin from the mid-1800s, from which we speak precisely of the tradition of Vermouth of Turin , the capital of the kingdom of Sardinia and in aristocratic homes, where, even, it was served not only before a meal to promote appetite thanks to its stimulating herbs, but during the meal itself, as a wine to accompany the dishes.


Today the aperitif is a full-fledged ritual that, if once it consisted of a glass of vermouth with an ice cube and some chips, today it is a custom that takes place between 18 and 21 and sees drinking as the protagonist. mixed thanks to the skill of the barmen,every decade has had its fashions and its aperitifsthat have inspired the consumption of generations of enthusiasts for decades. Not only that, but in the aperitif today a central role is now firmly attributed to food, in the form of finger food and small tastings , which, if wisely combined with the drink, enhance its characteristics and provide the body with the right balance during the drinking alcohol. Mixed drinking has always been considered an art, like the great success of mixologygoes to show. Each decade has had its fashions and its aperitifs. From Long Island Iced Tea, Whiskey with ice, Bloody Mary from the Eighties to South American cocktails with Daiquiri and Margarita in the head. Then the success of vodka, the great return of Negroni and other classics, the gin mania. There is no generation in Italy that does not have its reference cocktail .


The idea of getting together with friends over a drink is still at the top of the preferences even among young people: it is in great vogue especially among millennials. This is why the market woos the latest generations with new captivating proposals. This is the case of Fiero , the latest addition to the Martini family: a modern aperitif with light bitter notes thanks to the presence of artemisia, an ideal reference to the glorious origins of the aperitif. Perfect to serve with tonic water, Fiero is obtained with a blend of selected white wines . A Mediterranean touch stands out, given by the fruity and citrus notes of mandarins and oranges. The sweet orange peels are cut by hand into long strips as is customary in the Spanish region of Murcia and then left to dry in the sun on linen tea towels so as not to disperse the essential oils. Fiero embodies the ideal drink for those who want to spend their time well.

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