Aperitif: Cocktail Hour The French Way
by Rebekah Peppler
(Clarkson Potter, $18.99)
Handsomely photographed and thoughtfully laid out with a how-to section, an aperitif primer, and a chapter on equipping your bar, this guide to the French version of happy hour is a must-have for anyone who enjoys entertaining. The French weave the art of seduction into everyday life, and author Rebekah Peppler imbues her writing with that feeling as she brings readers along on her journey from New York to France and her initiation into the world of the aperitif.
An integral part of French culture from childhood on and lasting anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes, l’apero is a social time involving light cocktails, wines, beers, Champagne, and liqueurs generously served with snacks of various sorts. A double entendre, the verb aperir means “to open” the appetite and also the evening. An aperitif surely does both. L’apero, the colloquial form of the word, is used interchangeably to connote both the drink and that special time of day, which Peppler calls “the witching hour between day and night.” If you love a good cocktail, you’ll be charmed by Peppler’s approach to this time-honored tradition.