Cocktails made with vermouth and other wines rather than hard liquor offer new options for eateries such as New York's Northern Spy Food Co., which have beer-and-wine-only licenses. Just the word "aperitif" can be daunting to bartenders, and patrons unfamiliar with the custom that largely died out in the U.S. during prohibition, but in reality the fancy name just means a simple cocktail of wine and soda water on the rocks, with a twist.

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