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Apéro - the Most Parisian of Happy Hours...


Image: justlanguages.fr

If Apéro is a proper religion, then Paris is its cathedral…


Apéro is a distinctly Parisian pleasure with an interesting root. Stemming from the French word apéritif, which itself comes from the Latin verb aperire (to open), the apéritif was introduced in 1813 by herbalist Joseph Noilly and then more so by chemist Joseph Dubonnet in 1846. It was he who cleverly marketed this wine based remedy as a means to mask quinine - a terribly bitter drink meant to fight off malaria for troops in North Africa.


Obviously, his concoction worked and the apéritif, or apéro as it is so charmingly nicknamed, has become somewhat of a casual religion in France, and throughout all of Europe. Let's raise our glasses and learn more!


Apéro is typically served between 6pm and 9pm as a welcome to a lovely dinner, but designed not to ruin one's appetite.


Typically, alcoholic beverages are served and the most popular choices are: wine, champagne, pastis, kir, etc. As a P'Niche note, if invited to an apéro, it's best not to offer wine as a gift, as the host has likely already decided upon pairings.


You might also choose to unleash your creativity to fashion a "signature cocktail / mocktail" if celebrating a specific event.


We'll be sure to highlight recipes for apéro in future posts, so make sure to subscribe to the Parisian Niche, where we are always ready to raise a glass in celebration of both the big and little moments we savor in life...


Having a fun moment in the spotlight, the Aperol Spritz stands front and center at many apéro offerings. The spritz recipe is straightforward - three parts prosecco, two parts Aperol, and one part soda.


This Italian import (from Venice, over 100 years ago) is light and bittersweet. As it hails from a watery region, it pairs delightfully with an array of seafood (think: calamari, sardines, anchovies, smoked, cured salmon or salmon tartare, etc.)


With it's orange forward flavor, it also partners well with citrus glazed meats like ham. It pairs deliciously with an ash covered Chevriou or creamy Camembert.


P'Niche is definitely enjoying this moment of La Dolce Vita - à table!


More casual by design, the apéro is set up as a lighter get together. Offerings should not be fussy or over designed.


This sacred time is a special and relaxing moment to gather together and have a refreshing chat before sitting down to a more formal dinner around the elegantly set table.


Preparing for an apéro should be very low key and super low maintenance for your guests and you, as the host.

Put together a very simple cheese and charcuterie board that can be laid out and easily reachable for nibblers.


Even opening up a bag of crisps or gourmet breadsticks (and arranging them artfully) is considered perfectly acceptable fare for apéro! P'Niche never feels so comfortable as when snacking on easy nibbles with my French family in their home - it's quite simply the most welcoming feeling.

The key is to maintain that laid back, chill vibe, so that you and your guests are relaxed and ready to enjoy each other's company - the main goal of apéro!

One key while making your nibbles is to make them easy to eat. Of course, you will have checked your guests dietary restrictions in advance, you chic host, you...


Small, manageable bites are best. This is the time for your little skewers, pâté on mini toasts, and pop-able puffs to shine.

Ensure that you have a place for your guests to leave their discarded vessels and spread out lots of playful cocktail napkins for ease.


If you are serving spreads like tapenade or hummus, make sure that you have enough spreaders. Similarly, do supply enough various types of cheese knives, spreaders, toothpicks, and brochettes so that you and your guests can indulge with ease.


If you are lucky enough to be invited to an apéro event, you won't want to arrive empty handed. As above, wine is not an appropriate offering, but you can feel free to up your sophistication level by bring a lovely pâté or tapenade to share, some gourmet crisps, or even some delicious olives to add to the spread.

If your host has indicated that they'd prefer you to not bring food, you can always go the trusted and chic route of a lovely bouquet, a scented candle in their favorite fragrance, or even some designer tea towels for the clean up afterwards.


Enjoy your wonderful apéro - party safely and party chic P'Nichers!

Image: boardandyou.com

But wait... there's more!

Apéro leads to Apéro Dinatoire...

P'Niches absolute favorite way to entertain guests these days is the Apéro Dinatoire. This is rather like if an apéro and dinner party had a baby and it turned out to be the # BestNightEver.

Prepping for this apéro is a touch different. You will want to offer what is known as a «gâteaux d’apéro » which consists of the standard crisps, cheeses, and meats, but also heartier offerings like hot hors d'oeuvres, sausages, even various chocolates, etc.

P'Niche's favorite way to entertain this way is to arrange a "grazing table," laying out options on a larger space, so that guests can mix, mingle, eat and chat with ease during your lively Apéro Dinatoire.


When in Paris, some of P'Niche's favorite haunts for a good apéro are:


Maison Maison, along the Seine at

16 Quai du Louvre, 75001

Métro: Louvre-Rivoli

Rec: Try the Hugo Spritz


Fitzgerald Speakeasy

54 Blvd de la Tour-Maubourg, 75007

Métro: La Tour-Maubourg

Rec: Try the Zelda Martini


Printemps Rooftop Terrace

64 Blvd Haussmann, 75009

Métro: Havre - Caumartin

Rec: Champagne with a View!


And don't forget our favorite Parisian way to apéro…


Apéro ... To Go!

One of the most delicious ways to enjoy an apéro is alfresco at a picnic.

Toss all of your accoutrements into a Parisian Market basket and head to your favorite spot for a delightful way to enjoy your special moments, the français way!



Currently not in Paris? Fret not, P'Nichers... As Paris is a moveable feast, so is apéro!


Apéro is the French delight that is quite easy to recreate in your own home or garden.


Use your loveliest linens and glassware to indulge yourself, you, your friends and your family are worth it! Set out platters of cheeses, your favorite salted nuts, that gourmet popcorn or treats you were gifted over the holidays


So, until you can get back to Paris, here is to making every moment count in Parisian chic style!


No Apéro partner/s? No problem! Remember, YOU are your best investment, so set up a nice space where you can raise a glass to yourself and live with your Parisian intent to savor every moment and make it special.


Sometimes, P'Niche's favorite Apéro moments are spent alone with a great book, a soothing playlist in the background, a hearty pour of a crisp rosé and delicious nibbles to begin a lovely evening.


Take some time for yourself to make your favorite cocktail or mocktail - use your best glassware and linens. Set aside this time for yourself to reset and recharge. Remember, Paris (and apéro) is for everyone - this means you too ... Santé!


What do you think P'Nichers? Are you as crazy about apéro as we are? How do you indulge and recreate this most Parisian and happiest of happy hours at home? Do let us know in the comments below, et à bientôt!





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librariana01
08 Ιουν 2022

Another absolutely lovely post, full of inspiring ideas. Thank you so much!

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chrissy
08 Ιουν 2022
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Thank you so much - this one was great fun to "research" as apéro is just the best!


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midnight132
07 Ιουν 2022

Gorgeous photos! How timely for the spring/summer season! Absolutely STUNNING visuals that are giving me great inspo for how to bring the delight of Apéro (although most enjoyed in Paris!) to my home or beach/park picnic! Great for any budget or intensity level. Thank you!

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chrissy
08 Ιουν 2022
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I'm so glad you enjoyed and glad you see that Apéro is for everyone, everywhere!

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