Aperitifs don't often come into your life with much ceremony, the way a first martini or manhattan might. They're not the sort of thing you get wasted on at a college party or default to on a bender. Instead, aperitifs turn up when you're good and ready for them. When I was a kid and watched my mother drink Lillet or Dubonnet before summer dinners, I never tried to sneak a sip, as I did with beer or wine or fruity drinks like piƱa coladas. My instincts told me that I'd have to wait until I was older.