The Proper Way to Drink when Dining in France

Whiskey Aperitif
Rio had a nutty day in the office, so I made him un petit apéritif last night after he got home from work. After that, we had dinner (a pasta with eggplant and mushroom dish I made), I cleaned up and then made him some sandwiches for the next two days to bring to work. (If I don’t make him lunch, he’s so busy at work he doesn’t even eat!) OMG, what has happened to me? I feel like I’m living in “Mad Men”.

In France, you generally have un apéritif (pre-dinner drink) when you’re at a restaurant. I usually have une coupe de champagne and Rio usually has whiskey or une bière. Technically, you have un apéritif, then whatever drink you’re having for dinner (usually a bottle or two of wine for us lushes), and then un digestif. I usually skip the digestif, but when I don’t, I do enjoy a nice glass of Manzana. It’s like an apple liqueur that’s not too sickeningly sweet.

When I first moved here, waiters would only occasionally ask us if we wanted to “commence avec un apéritif”. This is probably because they thought we were tourists and didn’t know the proper French way to dine. Well, no more! On most occasions, I get the apéritif question and if I don’t, I make it a point to ask for a glass to show them that I am one of them, damnit! That is if I feel like having an apéritif that night… which most times I do. It’s to whet the appetite after all!

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