Ask most people who dont yet receive Social Security checks in the mail what sorts of aperitifs they like, and your audience will likely imagine musty old ladies sipping what tastes like cough syrup from tiny glasses while peering over bifocals at their bridge hands.
I did too. Until I began trying some of these drinks.
Lets start with one you can (and should) start supper with an aperitif called the Negroni.
The first one of these I had was in its home country of Italy, in the absurdly beautiful lobby bar of the , the drinks birthplace. At the first sip, I was hooked. Pleasingly bitter and sweet and tart all at the same time, the Negroni was the perfect pre-supper drink. My then-girlfriend-now-wife, Gail, and I ordered two apiece, and we would have kept going but it was obvious that any more and we might not make it to dinner.
True, my mad crush on this drink might also have been influenced by having tromped up and down stairs and along narrow, cobbled streets all day. And I know how seductive context can be in making strange tastes even better especially if that place is a former 18th century palace and youre thirsty enough to drink bath water. Thats why one of the first things we did when we got home to Tampa was get the ingredients (wed bugged the bartender at the Grand for the recipe) and make our own. We found that Negronis are still great; but they do taste even better in Italy. Still, thats no reason not to try them anywhere.