It was at a small, open-air drinkery on a sky island in central Italy, looking across the vast, flat landscape to another sky island miles away, that I realized I was holding what may have been the perfect drink for that situation: an Aperol spritz. Everyone around me was drinking one -- clearly I wasn't the only one who found the bright, fizzy, drink so compelling. With its hard-to-define combination of bubbles and buzz, the Aperol spritz is a drink you should get familiar with for your next alfresco entertainment.
How to make an Aperol spritz, one of the best drinks for warm weather.
To Make an Aperol Spritz
Prosecco, Aperol, and seltzer come together to make this delightful drink. Prosecco is of course a dry sparkling white wine of Italian descent, and it forms a necessary counterpoint to the sweet, nearly syrupy attitude of the Aperol. Prosecco has been used forever as a mixer, and may even work as a substitute for champagne in a pinch (a very hard pinch).
- Place two ice cubes in a rocks glass (the larger the better, since an Aperol Spritz is a generous-sized cocktail, and it will disappear quickly!).
- Combine your main ingredients. Technically, the ratio of Aperol to Prosecco is 2 to 3, but I have found that a general approximation of this relationship will yield a cocktail virtually indistinguishable from one made with precise measurements. Still, you want to at least come close, so using a shot measure, place two jiggers of Aperol and three of Prosecco into the glass.
- Give the glass a splash -- or, as my partner likes to say, a "glug" -- of seltzer. The drink should have a bright orange-red demeanor.
- Garnish with an orange slice, et voila! You are ready to entertain.
Aperol, the Perfect Aeritif
Such a delightful drink! Aperol has a name that makes you think of an engine additive, yet it is sweet, fruity, and highly traditional. It is a lovely orange-rose in color, sweet with a bitter edge that comes from its closely-guarded secret concoction of oragne essences, herbs, and root. You absolutely can drink Aperol neat, but be ready for a sweet/bitter aftertaste that lingers on the tongue -- perhaps serve with a plate of biscotti to cleanse the palate?
The buzz-factor of Aperol is quite low, about the same as wine, but the drinkability of the Aperol spritz means it can sneak up on you if you're not careful! Some guests will want to drink this delightful refresher like soda pop. These are the guests you will later find passed out on the little bench in the far corner of your garden!
Aperol Spritz -- Summer's Perfect Drink!