What to expect at a Swiss apéro

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Before or instead of a dinner, at a garden party, a wedding, an office function or even a funeral, it‘s always the right time and place to join or organise a classic Swiss apéro. But what is expected at this typically Swiss get-together? We talk you through the food and drinks, the preparation, and, as always, the subtleties of navigating a Swiss event.

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What is a Swiss apero?

The classic Swiss apéro involves nibbles and drinks and is suitable for any occasion.

The food usually consists of cold meats and cheese, crackers and/or (Zweifel) crisps. It can be a little fancier with small pizzas, mini croissants, or anything you find in the kitchen to serve and eat by hand or from small plates.

For drinks, you‘ll find white wine and mineral water and most of the time, orange juice. But also here - from tea to beer - nothing is a must, most things go.

That‘s it food- and drink-wise, but it can also be much more elaborate of course.

The occasion can be anything. It can be a big celebration, for a wedding for example, but it can also be without any major occasion at all if friends walk by and you invite them to your home for an apéro if the time feels right.

What do you do at a Swiss apéro?

You meet, greet and chat. It's a great opportunity to get to know people better and talk to them. And that's it!

All the in-betweens, what you can expect, what the atmosphere's like, and the do‘s and don‘ts are all discussed in this episode of the Swiss and Chips podcast.

And it's all brought to you from the view of a Swiss and an expat.

Notes on this episode of Swiss and Chips: Your British Guide to Switzerland

  • What is a Swiss apéro and when do you have one
  • What‘s the food like
  • What drinks can you expect
  • How to organise an apéro
  • What‘s the atmosphere like

Learning Swiss German

What exactly is "langsam gehen"?

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