In French, 'l'aperitif', in Italian, 'l'aperitivo'. We don't of course have a translation in English, but the aperitif, the drinks and snacks which proceed a meal have long captured our imaginations. The sounds and smells of Mediterranean holidays, the tastes of a summer day... and those glamorous and just a bit tacky TV adverts from the 70s. ('Dubonnet vous?')
Food writer Diana Henry fell for those adverts, and then experienced l'aperitif as a teenager on a French exchange. Now, with the rise and rise of low alcohol, sprtizy cocktails in our pubs and bars, Diana wants you to embrace the aperitif, in its many forms and flavours. She explores the history of the aperitivo in Italy, from it's Roman origins to it's significance for the Futurist movement. In France, she reflects on the cultural and social significance of aperitif, and hears how once deemed old fashioned, brands like Suze, and Dubonnet are making a comeback. And in Britain, she discovers chefs making their own infusions with ingredients from a Suffolk garden and the Somerset countryside.
In the first of The Food Programme's summer drinks series 'The Drinks Menu', Diana wants you to take a moment, a cold glass, some ice and a bottle and appreciate an aperitif.
Presented by Diana Henry
Produced by Clare Salisbury.