Drink This Now: A Frosty, Refreshing “Fraperitif” at Good King Tavern

This frozen, fun take on a France's happy hour tradition will cool you down and get you ready for dinner all summer long.

good king tavern philadelphia aperitif fraperitif happy hour

Fraperitifs at Good King Tavern | Photo by Bondfire Media

We’re just a few days out from the unofficial start of summer, and restaurants and bars all over Philly have already busted out their best frosés, boozy popsicles, and spiked slushes in celebration of the outdoor drinking season. But our new favorite frozen cocktail this year  just might be a summery take on France’s go-to happy hour pour.

Think of the Fraperitif, as the Good King Tavern crew calls it, as a more mature, boozy take on the iconic snow cone: your choice of complex, herbaceous French apéritifs poured over a drift of freshly shaved ice, perhaps with a twist of citrus.

The words “fortified wine” might not instantly evoke refreshment on a hot, sticky day, but these botanical-infused liqueurs have a pleasantly bitter, crisp quality that makes for a lovely cooler when chilled. In France, they’re sipped straight or over ice during “apéro hour” to ease one into the evening and stimulate the appetite for dinner; here in Philly, they’re the perfect lead-in to post-work bites from Good King’s new warm-weather menu on that charming, secluded back patio..

But which apéro to choose? Flip through Good King’s mini-binder of trading card-esque, pre-Prohibition labels from some of these classic bottles, read the tasting notes, and pick your poison.

There’s light, refreshing Kina, a bit like sipping slightly spiced marmalade, and bolder, less sweet Suze, a bit like an herbaceous Campari. For the uninitiated, a good starting point is Byrrh, whose jammy cherry flavors are balanced with woodsy spices and pleasantly bitter quinine.

Even better? Order your Fraperitif of choice during Good King’s happy hour this summer — that’s 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday — and each frosty glass is just $5, no matter which bottle you choose.