Light, zesty, bittersweet. These liqueurs refresh the palate, and are often enjoyed before meals in low-proof cocktails or simply over ice, usually garnished with a zest or slice of citrus. Europe has a tradition with aperitivo bitters: a sessionable drink (think Aperol Spritz) that can be enjoyed at just about any hour of the day. More and more spirit houses in the USA are putting their own stamp on this category, resulting in an embarassment of riches for the modern cocktail lover.
The range of applications for aperitivos staggers the mind and stirs the palate. Neat, on the rocks with a splash of soda, the base for a cocktail and a supporting player, their ease and comfort in almost any situation is unparalleled.