Aperitifs and Digestifs
An aperitif is a pre-lunch or dinner drink that stimulates the appetite and prepares the palate for food. Traditional choices include chilled dry sherry (sipped from a small stemmed glass), vermouth (fortified white wine served over ice in a tall glass) and Campari (served on the rocks or with orange).
Spirit based drinks are also suitable; a cocktail, gin and tonic or a vodka and mixer. A simpler, and popular, option is a glass of chilled white wine or champagne. When offered an aperitif as a guest, check what other people are drinking or ask what's on offer before requesting something your host may not have.
Alcoholic drinks served after a meal (to aid digestion) are called digestifs.
Traditionally, these are strong and dark coloured spirits, such as brandy, Armagnac, cognac and whisky, or fortified wines such as port or Madeira.
Sweet liqueurs are also popular choices. Postprandial indulgences are also called nightcaps.