Per Se

Per Se – An authentically Portuguese aperitif

My column for the Resident is usually about wine, or at the very least wine-related. I have in the past diverged to talk about grape-based spirits, but this is the first time I have gone totally off-piste to write about something that has nothing at all to do with wine.

I spotted it on special offer at Apolónia a few days ago, reduced from €15.95 to €10.95, and decided to buy a bottle. This is an aperitif designed to be drunk straight, over ice with a slice of orange rind. However, that said, I think it could be interesting to play around with it as a mixer or in cocktails.

The alcohol content is just 14.5%, so it is similar to many wines and considerably lower than a Vermouth. According to the marketing blurb, it is distilled from a combination of 24 different botanicals, is made somewhere around Lisbon and evokes the “bright warm sunsets of southern Portugal”.

The most obvious aroma I can detect is orange, mixed with lots of herbs and spices that remind me in some ways of Campari and Vermouth.

This is an easy-drinking, dry and aromatic aperitif that, for me, will be standing in as a lower alcohol quick-fix alternative to my favourite cocktail, which is a well-made Negroni.

By Patrick Stuart
patrick.stuart@open-media.net