Part of speech: noun
Origin: Latin, late 19th century
An alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite.
(rare) An hors d'oeuvre, such as crackers, cheese, and olives, preceding a meal.
Examples of Apéritif in a sentence
"The hostess greeted her guests at the door with an apéritif. "
"The menu included a light apéritif served before dinner."
Popularity Over Time
An apéritif is an alcoholic drink usually served before the meal to stimulate the appetite. Common apéritifs include vermouth, dry sherry, brandy, champagne, and gin. Usually the drier the better when it comes to an apéritif.
Did you Know?
The noun apéritif is taken from the French adjective of the same spelling, meaning stimulating appetite. The apéritif has been served in Europe and abroad since the 5th century, but it really gained traction in the mid-19th century. In America the tradition earned greater popularity in the 1970s and became known as “Happy Hour.”