Summer Cocktails! It’s only mid-July, but I think I’ve already had my fill of rosé for the season. What to have for a refreshing start to a meal or just a cool drink with a friend? My favorite drink of the moment has to be the Aperol Spritz. Ice, a few bubbles, not too heavy on the alcohol and a bright orange color to match the dipping sun. A traditional apéritif made with bitters and sweet orange, Aperol is a lot like its Italian sister, Campari, but a little less bitter and with half as much alcohol. Since it’s less bitter it’s easy to pair with liquids that aren’t too sweet like prosecco and sparkling water, resulting in a drink that is overall less rich and sugary than a Campari Orange, or another cocktail with fruit juice. I used to be a Campari Orange girl – Campari with fresh squeezed orange juice – and sometimes I still am, especially if I find myself in some beachy piazza in Italy sticky from the salt of the sea and the sun. But these days in the hot, steamy streets of New York or the slightly cooler coastline of Montauk, I long for the light, refreshing taste of the Spritz!
APEROL SPRITZ – The perfect accompaniment to an Aperol Spritz is a small bowl of bright green, young olives like the Castelvetrano variety with their firm skin and sweet, buttery flesh that you can find at Whole Foods or anywhere with a good Italian olive selection.
a handful of ice
2 parts Aperol
3 parts prosecco
1 part sparking water with lots of strong bubbles like Perrier
a piece of lemon rind with the white pith removed, or a slice of orange for garnish
Fill a wine or cocktail glass just about halfway with ice. Pour in the other ingredients as listed, you want the glass to be about half Aperol and sparkling water, and half prosecco. For a lighter cocktail, but with the same great Aperol taste reduce the prosecco and add more sparkling water. Garnish with lemon rind or a slice of orange.