Aperitif is a before-dinner drink to stimulate the appetite. The term originates from the Latin word, 'apertitiuvum indicating 'opener.' In France, it is pronounced aperitif, and in Italy, aperitivo.
Aperitif was born in Europe and traveled to the United States later around the beginning of 1900s. There is no definite evidence indicating the origin of aperitif. Some say it goes back to the biblical days of ancient Egyptian era.
By the 16th century people were producing flavoured spirits with herbs and spices for medicinal purposes. In the early days they tasted very bitter so the early producers of aperitif made it more acceptable tastes by diluting ingredients in wine.
When it became popular for non-medicinal consumption, it was served as an appetite stimulator before the meal, which became the social tradition in many parts of Europe.