The first thing that comes into my mind when hearing the word “aperitif” is not one, but several images, all of which are appealing: sun, terrace, friends, cold beers, vermouth… irresistible, right?
But what is the true origin of the aperitif?
If we have anyone to thank, we must go back to the 5th century BC to Hippocrates, the most famous doctor of antiquity, who created a bitter drink by mixing wormwood wine with different herbs, which he used to awaken the stomach in cases of a lack of appetite. For this reason, “opening” up the desire to eat, the syrup was renamed aperire, in classical Latin, meaning opening.
In Italy, specifically in Turin a few centuries later, a wine was invented with the addition of quinine, which they called vermouth and whose function remained the same, stimulating the appetite. Later, it went from being a drink to a social custom among politicians and intellectuals, who met in bars to discuss their ideas and have something to eat. From there, the custom spread throughout Europe, particularly to France and Spain, where the aperitif has been given a special flavour and character.
Tapas in Barcelona
After this brief history, we come to our city of Barcelona, where the aperitif has become an essential social event with its own identity, and which is practised almost daily.
Without doubt you have heard of Spanish tapas, those small nibbles and titbits that come with a drink as a prelude to the food that comes later. So, as a rule, we usually have tapas with the aperitif, which adds to it at that moment.
(It is said that the word tapas (from the Spanish tapar, meaning to cover) came from covering the drink with a slice of ham so that flies or sand could not go in.)
In Barcelona there are countless bars, venues, and terraces where you can have an aperitif with friends, a beer or vermouth on Sundays sitting in the sun, while you chat or simply watch people go by. The list of places is long but we will leave you to discover it for yourself. However…
Aperitifs at sea, the latest thing
For just over a year now, there has been a new place in Barcelona in which to enjoy, not only an aperitif, but also great live music; a perfect combination if we also add a third element, the sea. Sounds good, right? Well, you can find all this on Catamaran Orsom, the best terrace with the finest views. An incredible 90-minute ride aboard a large catamaran that offers you a drink while you chat with friends, sunbathe, and listen to live music from the different artists that we have on board every week. It seems to me like a wonderfully unique idea and as they say that the sea whets the appetite… well, we’ve doubly achieved the goal.
Are you coming for an aperitif with us?