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An apéritif is an alcoholic beverage usually served before a meal to stimulate the appetite, and is therefore usually dry rather than sweet. Common choices for an apéritif are vermouth; champagne; pastis; gin; rakı; fino, amontillado or other styles of dry sherry (but not usually cream sherry, which is very sweet and rich); and any still, dry, light white wine. Apéritif may also refer to a snack that precedes a meal. This includes an amuse-bouche, such as crackers, cheese, pâté or olives.[1][2] Apéritif is a French word derived from the Latin verb aperire, which means "to open". The French slang word for apéritif is apéro, although in France an apéro is also food eaten in the late afternoon or early evening. History[edit] St. Diadochos of Photiki, in his writing on the Christian spiritual life, On Spiritual Knowledge, states, "People who wish to discipline the sexual organs should avoid drinking those artificial concoctions which are called 'aperitifs'—presumably because they open a way to the stomach for the vast meal which is to follow." Diadochos was born around 400 A.D. and died sometime before 486 A.D. He was from Northern Greece and was a significant theologian during the Council of Chalcedon (451). Therefore, the use of apéritifs to affect one's consumption of food was a practice in the 5th century.[3] In 1796, Turin distiller Antonio Carpano invented modern vermouth.[4][5] The apéritif was introduced in France in 1846[citation needed] when a French chemist, Joseph Dubonnet, created his eponymous wine-based drink as a means of delivering malaria-fighting quinine. The medicine was a bitter brew, so he developed a formula of herbs and spices to mask quinine's sharp flavor, and it worked so well that the recipe has remained well-guarded ever since. French Foreign Legion soldiers made use of it in mosquito-infested Northern Africa. Dubonnet's wife was so fond of the drink that she had all her friends try it, and its popularity spread.[citation needed]