There is no great translation for apéritifs in English – a simple translation would be “cocktails with light appetizers” – but the literal translation from the Latin verb aperire means “to open” (as in “to open the appetite” prior to a meal). Apéritifs are also commonly referred to in slang as an “apéro” in French.
Thus, wine & champagne and other cocktails are served with amuse-bouche (light snacks such as cheese & crackers, olives, pâté, charcuterie & more). In the South of France, good Provencal rosé is a big part of this tradition.
Very often these apéritifs lead to a delicious Mediterranean meal with the continuous bounty of wine to accompany it. Many times, a mid-day aperitif can spontaneously turn into a dinner and other festivities with friends, family, neighbors and visitors.
Coeur de Rosé at Bagatelle Beach in Saint-Tropez | ©AmauryBrac