It's about time for another cocktail around this blog, I think. I want to introduce you to a drink that is wildly popular in Italy, especially in the Veneto where it originates, but is hardly known in the United States. It is made with Aperol, which began to be imported into this country only about three years ago. It is the Aperol Spritz and you can get a little of the general spirit of the drink with this Italian TV ad:
The Aperol Spritz is made with Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine), Aperol and a splash of soda water. As an aperitivo, it's a great way to start a meal because the Aperol is low in alcohol (11%) and tastes light and refreshing. It doesn't ruin your appetite, it stimulates it. Aperol is an orange flavored spirit and a nice alternative to Campari, for those who find that drink just a little too bitter (including me). Campari makes Aperol, but Aperol is fruitier and lighter. I would even like to bend the rules and try making a Negroni with Aperol instead of the traditional Campari. Even though I prefer the Aperol to Campari, some people do not as you can see when the Queen of Food herself, Ruth Reichl, had an Aperol Spritz at Lupa in New York and twittered about it:
Like pop? Gee, I wouldn't go that far - Aperol is still on the bitter side. It has become much easier to find in most large liquor stores, so pick up a bottle and judge for yourselves.
I garnish my Aperol Spritz with a big thick slice of orange, which continues to infuse the drink with orangey goodness as I sip it. in Italy, they garnish it with a slice of orange and an olive. Odd combination, but it's the traditional thing to do.
for a printable version, click here
for 1 drink:
- 3 ounces Prosecco (or any sparkling wine)
- 1 ounce Aperol
- splash of soda water, sparkling water, or club soda
- garnish of orange
Pour the sparkling wine into a glass of ice cubes. Add the Aperol and then a splash of sparkling water. Float a nice thick slice of orange on top - it will infuse the drink with orangey goodness even more as you sip.
Want to try another Italian cocktail? How about a lemony Sgroppino?