Years ago a glass of chilled white wine as an aperitif was very trendy. As cocktail culture made a comeback in the 1990s, with Martinis, Cosmos, and Margaritas in Vogue, the idea of sipping a glass of wine other than champagne as an aperitif now seems almost quaint.
The exprerts believe that “The dryness of the wine puts the palate to sleep and doesn’t go well with caviar, for example.” As an alternative, people are trying new creations of the bartenders, like Caviar Martini which can be made with a cube of pressed caviar with vodka and cucumber. “Men first order it and when the women taste it, they order one too.”
At the Hemingway Bar at the Paris Ritz, longtime bartender Colin Field says white wine was often the answer when few staff had cocktail-making skills. Now, with the growing excellence of barstaff “it would be a shame not to take advantage of the growing talent of bartenders around the world.” The most popular drink at the Hemingway Bar these days is the Raspberry Martini, made with a maceration of fresh raspberries left in vodka over 3 months, then filtered, frozen and served in a chilled Martini glass.
The word “aperitif,” dating in English to 1894 (“cocktail” appears a century earlier) is from French, meaning to “open up,” specifically to awaken the palate for the meal to come. Wine, white or red, can do that but “cocktails are taking it to the next level.”
We encourage you to explore the whole new world of flavours with a cocktail as an aperitif next time you dine out!
The Bartending News Flash Team