The elegant aperitif: culture and art of savouring beforehand

The history of the aperitif, an essential part of food culture, goes back deep into European history. Originally conceived in Italy as a way to stimulate the appetite before a meal, the aperitif has developed into a global phenomenon. It symbolises not only the start of a meal, but also a social ritual that brings people together. The aperitif, often a slightly alcoholic drink such as Vermouth, Prosecco or a sparkling cocktail, prepares the palate for the culinary experience to come.

A composition of fine flavour and sophisticated presentation

The art of the aperitif lies in the balance of its ingredients. Traditional aperitifs such as the Italian Campari or the French Lillet are known for their bitter-sweet flavour profiles that stimulate the appetite. Modern variations experiment with a variety of flavours, from herbs and spices to fruity and floral notes. The preparation of an aperitif is an art in itself, where the right blend and presentation are crucial.

The evolution of the aperitif into an elegant experience 

Over the course of time, the aperitif has evolved from a simple drink to a sophisticated component of gastronomy. Originally intended to prepare the stomach for food, it is now an integral part of the dining experience. Bars and restaurants around the world offer special aperitif menus, ranging from classic recipes to innovative creations. The aperitif has become a symbol of elegance and sophistication.
An aperitif is not only an established starter in the catering trade, but can also be used at home to start or accompany a cosy dinner with guests in a stylish and atmospheric way with a suitable pre-drink. Today, hosts can choose from a wide range of aperitif brands or create their very own signature drink. From summer aperitifs to Christmas aperitifs and New Year's Eve aperitifs: numerous aperitif varieties and aperitif recipes offer a wide selection for your own aperitif ideas and creations.

From local custom to global trend

The variety of aperitifs reflects the cultural diversity of their countries of origin. From dry to sweet, from bitter to fruity flavour profiles, there is an aperitif for every palate. Choosing the right aperitif can greatly enhance the culinary experience of a meal. The aperitif began as a local custom in countries such as Italy and France. Today, it is a worldwide phenomenon that takes different forms in different cultures. In Spain, for example, sherry is enjoyed as an aperitif, while ouzo is popular in Greece. Each region brings its own tradition and local ingredients to the art of the aperitif.

At BEHN, we produce two classic aperitifs from very different North German traditions. Our Küstennebel aniseed liqueur is a real taste of home for all those who have a deep love of the sea. The most popular German aniseed spirit is as much a part of coastal culture as beach chairs, shrimp boats and fish sandwiches. For more than three decades, Küstennebel Sternanis has been produced in Eckernförde according to a tried and tested, unchanged recipe - and is appreciated as an aperitif by locals and visitors alike. With its golden-orange colour, the Nordic aperitif Andalö conjures up the Nordic summer in your glass - no matter where you are. The aperitif with the fruity-fresh aroma of the power fruit sea buckthorn is a wonderful way to open a cosy get-together or a festive evening, either neat, on ice or infused with Prosecco and soda as an Andalö Spritz. The aperitif for atmospheric moments of enjoyment and the German answer to the aperitif tradition in the Mediterranean region.