It’s commonplace, a habit in fact, to stay at home or go to the bar and enjoy a simple aperitif. It’s a simple wish to catch a few moments of relaxation and distraction, to spend time with colleagues or friends, and is also a way of whetting the appetite with a glass of sparkling wine, a cocktail, a bitters or a fruit or vegetable juice, usually before dinner. However, the aperitif is in fact an ancient practice, and there is evidence that many civilizations began a meal with a fresh or aromatic drink, serving as an aperitif, before eating food. The term aperitif derives from the Latin “aperio-aperire” which means, simply, to open. Later the term “aperitivus” appeared, which literally means to “give oneself wholeheartedly to the desire to drink”. Throughout history, wine has almost always been used to concentrate the principle medicinal properties of different plants, obtaining a flavor which is predominantly bitter. The creator of these elaborate and often medicinal aperitifs was the great Greek physician Hippocrates, who steeped medicinal plants into wine to extract their essential oils. In the Middles Ages the drink was called Hyppocras or Wine of Hippocrates, and contained honey, aromatic herbs and fragrant substances like amber and must. The Romans also tried their hand at these drinks, one of which was “mulsum”, a drink based on wine and honey with aromatic leaves of thyme, rosemary and myrtle. The Greek physician Dioscorides described the properties of 670 plants which could be used as medicines if steeped into wine, recommending myrtle wine in particular. In the Middle Ages, Ippograsso wine was very well known and used both as an aperitif and a digestif. In Italy, the “modern” aperitif was established at the end of the 1700s with the rise in popularity of vermouth, a spirit prepared according to those same indications given by Hippocrates. And how can one enjoy an aperitif, alcoholic or otherwise, without a nice cheese? In fact, there are numerous exquisite dishes made with Pecorino, such as fresh Pecorino, oregano and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil; semi-matured Pecorino with glazed olives; aged Pecorino with crudités and baked olives; Pecorino mixed into fillings to add flavor and enhance each ingredient; or toast with roasted Pecorino.