- Food and Cooking
A new aperitif with history: review of Peychaud's Aperitivo + drink recipe
The flavor and use of Peychaud's Aperitivo
This new liqueur is bottled at 22%, adding a flavorful punch to drinks -- even if you just pour it over ice. It's a gorgeous, rich orange-red color. I experienced a nose of sweet orange, maraschino cherry and a touch of fresh lemon. Flavor-wise, I tasted maraschino cherry, spice, white pepper, bitter cherry bark and dried candied orange peel. The sweetness and touch of spice and bitter is intriguing on the tongue and certainly will spark your appetite.
In the ritziest places of Austria and Italy -- especially on beaches like Marina di Pietrasanta, beloved by A-list celebrities -- there's a certain drink always enjoyed before dinner. The "Spritz" is made with a bit of Italian Prosecco or sometimes Champagne, the aperitif liqueur and topped with a good bit of soda water. It's usually garnished with a bright slice of orange. You see it served in water goblet type glasses or sometimes, martini glasses.
Indeed, the brand suggests a cocktail that sounds quite based on the Spritz -- the Royal Street Fizz:
3 parts Champagne
2 parts Peychaud's Aperitivo
1 splash club soda
garnish with a lime twist and serve in a champagne flute
A little history on the aperitif
Aperitive drinks are those served before dinner, to heighten the appetite. These bitter style recipes on a prehistoric concept: when ancient man ate poisonous or improper foods, stomach acids and fluids would course through the digestive system to process/flush out the offender. These are the same fluids that tell us we are hungry. So, deliciously light and slightly bitter drinks clear the way for a substantial meal.
New Orleans, the cradle of the modern cocktail, first developed them at pharmacies. Similar to other places in the South that originated sodas as digestive aids, relaxants and stimulants, cocktails were created in the the city for the same reasons. Everything is more fun in New Orleans!
Antoine Amedie Peychaud worked during the 1800s in an apothecary in the famous French Quarter. He created simple "bitters" and drinks that revived the spirits of its patrons. It's in that vein that Peychaud's has now created Aperitivo. I was happy to be hosted to experience it!