Popular throughout the Mediterranean, an apéritif is a drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite. For the French, it is also a convivial ritual enjoyed by all, a time for sharing conversation and a bit of food along with an elegant flute of champagne, a cloudy glass of bracing anise-flavored pastis, and a glass of lemonade for the children.
Georgeanne Brennan, who divides her time between Provence and a farm in Northern California, explains the chronography of the apéritif ritual. Her historical background fascinates. The stories accompanying recipes for homemade vins maisons such as cherry-flavored Guignolet enchant.
Brennan tells how to brew your own apéritifs from scratch. If you enjoy une petite verre--a drink before dining--Brennan also tempts you to explore French classics like Lillet, Dubonnet and Suze. Her recipes for suitable accompanying nibbles will enhance the cocktail hour.
Atmospheric photos give Apéritif the glow of lounging on a sunny terrace or of lingering through the lavender twilight with a relaxing glass in hand.--Dana Jacobi
About the Author
Georgeanne Brennan is a food and garden writer who divides her time between Northern California and Provence. Her previous books include Chronicle Books' Potager, The Glass Pantry, and The Vegetarian Table: France.
Kathryn Kleinman, winner of a James Beard award for photography, specializes in food and flower images. her work has appeared in Chronicle Books' Salad, Sushi, On Flowers, The Glass Pantry, and Les Immortelles.