WHAT IS AN APERITIF
AND WHEN DOES IT HAPPEN?
The apéritif is a sacred tradition in French culture. These days, it could simply be a drink enjoyed with a group of friends, colleagues or neighbours alongside a few snacks and nothing more. Traditionally, though, apéritifs are pre-dinner drinks that fill the time while you’re waiting for your food or the rest of your group to arrive.
In Paris, the apéritif signals the end of the working day, with office workers often leaving their desks and heading straight out for drinks. Restaurants don’t tend to open until 6.30 p.m. or 7.00 p.m., so tables at bistros and bars start to fill up from around 5.00 p.m. It’s time to swap those daytime espresso cups for glasses filled with something alcoholic! Fancier places often throw in a bowl of nuts or olives with apéritifs. Otherwise, you can always order a snack to go with your drink. Your decision may depend on your dinner plans, of course 😉 You’ll see cheese and charcuterie boards on plenty of menus. Spanish-style tapas options are becoming more popular now too.