When the temperature starts to rise in New York, I ditch red wine for chilled rosé and mix margaritas more merrily and frequently (I drink margaritas year round, but summer makes this behavior 100% acceptable). The summer beverage Luke and I especially love is the Aperol Spritz. Sipping on our spritzes, I like to imagine sitting at a little bar somewhere in Rome or in Florence along the Arno, enjoying an aperitivo as the sun sets. Our vermillion drinks matching the faded, orangey hues, of the surrounding ancient buildings. How lovely does that sound??
Aperol is an Italian apéritif originally produced in 1919 in Padua, Italy. Its closest relative is Campari, the apéritif that gives the Negroni its red coloring and acerbic flavor, though it is less bitter and has a lower alcohol content. Its flavor notes are orange rind, some spice, and a little bit of rhubarb. When mixed with prosecco the result is a bubbly, light, and bittersweet drink.
Enjoying an Aperol Spritz in our balmy Brooklyn apartment is certainly not as nice as enjoying one in Italy. But the drink has transportive and transformative powers. Though the spritz is especially drinkable, you’ll find yourself slipping slowly, relaxed and in no rush to eat dinner. The air begins to feel a little cooler. Perhaps a little plate prosciutto and cheese will magically appear. I often begin belting out Fausto Leali’s A Chi. Much like the color of your spritz, life begins to take on a rosier hue.
- Orange – regular or blood orange
You can actually find the directions on the back label of the Aperol bottle. Quite simply, they are: 3 parts prosecco, 2 parts Aperol, 1 splash soda, ice + orange slice. Here’s how we do it:
- Fill a wine glass about half way with ice (~3 cubes).
- Pour in 1/2 inch of aperol. Add prosecco until 2/3 of the glass is full.
- Splash some seltzer and garnish with an orange slice or peel.
- Stir or not – we prefer to stir everything together, but some like it undisturbed.