Aperitif (French) or Aperitivo (Italian) are what we Australian's would call pre-dinner drinks (or pre's). Let's be honest though, the Europeans have a way with their words so we've adopted them. The point of an aperitif is to activate your digestive system so it's ready for the ensuing meal, but they are also a delicious way to start your evening.
Vermouth's are the most popular of the aperitif's. Well known vermouth's include Campari and Aperol, but the range, diversity and flavour of vermouth's reaches far beyond these staples. Vermouth can be dry or sweet, or anything in-between. They are wine-based that have been fortified with a spirit and steeped with herbs mainly, but also spices, fruits and vegetables.
They are delicious served on the rocks or in your favourite cocktail - Spritzers anyone!