French appetizerIn the Middle Ages, doctors prescribed various tonic drinks to patients - with cumin, thyme, nutmeg, and cloves. At the same time, a special category of vermouth wines appeared, flavored with wormwood, chamomile, vanilla and other natural herbs and spices. These were the first aperitifs (from the Latin aperire - to open). Nowadays, as before, it is customary to serve simple alcoholic drinks before meals - they refresh, invigorate and whet the appetite. In France, the choice of aperitifs is varied - from light and champagne wines to spirits, and many regions have their own specialties. In the wine-growing areas, these are dry white wines from local grape varieties. In Burgundy and Savoy, liqueurs are also used as an aperitif. In Normandy they drink, cognac and Armagnac are offered in the provinces of the same name. In the south of France, anise drinks are preferred. So, in Marseille, the traditional aperitif is Ricard pastis, diluted with ice water in a ratio of one to five. It was invented by Paul Ricard in the 30s of the twentieth century and quickly gained popularity not only in France, but also far beyond its borders.Another interesting variant of an aperitif is a cocktail with liqueur. In Burgundy, it is called "kir" - in honor of the Dijon canon Felix Cyrus, who invented this drink in the middle of the last century. There are countless cocktails like this. The most exquisite is, perhaps, Kir Royal - champagne with the addition of blackcurrant liqueur, such as Creme de Cassis by Marie Brizard.French drinks Strict rules for servingAperitif does not exist, so everyone can always choose what he likes. The main thing - that the drink was not heavy and whet the appetite. However, today the role of aperitif is not limited to this. Today, few people think about the tonic properties of various drinks, much more important is a good company and the relaxed atmosphere they help create. ”Let’s run to my aperitif,” after hearing this phrase, which has become familiar to the French, the guests do not expect to see tables. , filled with gourmet dishes. On the contrary, the simpler the situation, the freer the communication. To exchange news, discuss affairs and problems, chat a little - this is why the French “go to an aperitif”. And in a glass it can be anything - from plain water or juice to a complex cocktail. By the way, brandy-based cocktails have recently come into fashion - it is mixed with ice, lemonade, and juices. Of the possible options worth mentioning Martell tonic or with fresh lemon juice. By inviting you to your house for dinner, the French will not rush to serve it. First, they will offer you snacks and some light, refreshing drink that will lift your spirits, make you forget about worries and, perhaps, cause a slight feeling of hunger. French restaurants also support the idea of an aperitif as one of the opportunities to have a good time. After work, it became fashionable to go to a restaurant with friends or colleagues in order to freely communicate in a stylish setting. And this pleasure is not so expensive. Bread, vegetables, and kishi. No matter how pleasant the communication is, hunger will remind you of yourself from time to time, so a real French aperitif without snacks is hard to imagine. There are no strict rules on this score either, although, as a rule, the French serve snacks that are easy to serve. And, if possible, do without cutlery. At home, they are likely to offer something unpretentious - fresh bread, quiche, cold meats, cheeses, ready-made seafood, fresh vegetables and fruits.For aperitif appetizers, suchFrench products such as pates, terrines, ham, Atlantic and Mediterranean seafood, all kinds of cheeses - from neutral brie to bright goat, pies with cheese filling. Cheese has long been a gastronomic symbol of France. For example, Comte is a famous boiled cheese made from cow's milk in Eastern France. It can be sliced and served with rustic bread, or skewered with banana, apple, grape, mango, wine and cheese are considered to be the most harmonious aperitif pair. But no French table is complete without meat delicacies. In France, there are specialized shops that sell only ready-made meat products - foie gras, cold aspic, a variety of poultry and game pies and terrines. A special place is occupied by cold and hot dishes from French pork - ham, baked ham and many other products. Home holidays, cocktail parties are a great occasion for original snacks that not only attract attention, but also cause an appetite. Multicolored canapes, tempting rolls and tartins, cheese platters, mini barbecues with poultry and seafood - what scope for gastronomic fantasies! French restaurants offer true miniature masterpieces as appetizers. They are prepared from common foods and delicacies and are served hot and cold. They are bright and memorable, because they had the honor to open the feast. The aperitif became so firmly established in the life of the French that they dedicated a whole holiday to it. And they gave the world “French Aperitif Day”, which falls on the first Thursday of June. In 2004, it was celebrated in 13 countries, including Russia. In 2005, it was celebrated on an even larger scale - in 22 countries. The meaning of the aperitif is to make people enjoy the conversation. And for this we are always ready to raise our glasses.