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The Aperol Spritz is there to stay



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Aperol Spritz, born in Italy, is lively orange and wonderfully bubbly. It’s the perfect drink if you don’t know anything about cocktails and still want to impress your in-laws. (And it’s relatively low in alcohol – 11 percent – so you can have a few without falling on your bum.)

The Aperol-Spritz (also called Spritz Veneziano) is named after the main ingredient Aperol. Aperol is made from gentian root, rhubarb and cinchona and is known for its bittersweet taste.

The liqueur was created by Italian brothers Silvio and Luigi Barbieri in 1

919, but the cocktail we know and love became famous in the 1950s when Italian celebrities took note of the drink’s irresistible aesthetic. With the help of their notoriety, the Aperol spritz was anointed to cocktail fame.

Namesake

The name “Aperol” is derived from the French word “aperitif” – a cocktail before dinner that is supposed to whet the appetite.

Even today, the Aperol Spritz is the first choice for happy hours throughout Italy and beyond. And while the drink was recently rated “not good” by the high and powerful New York Times, we are all here for the unapologetically frivolous nature of the Aperol Spritz.

If you want to start your evening with something sweet, bubbly and refreshing, here is a full overview of the Aperol spritz: the traditional recipe, delicious variations and epic aperitif foods that will instantly get you to a piazza in Venice.

The Aperol Spritz is super easy to whip together. Only four ingredients and a bodacious glass (yes, that is necessary) are required for serving. The proportions “3-2-1” are very easy to remember even during operation.

ingredients

  • 3 parts of Prosecco
  • 2 parts of Aperol
  • 1 part soda water
  • 1 orange slice

Directions

  1. Add ice to your wine glass.
  2. Pour in Prosecco.
  3. Follow that with Aperol.
  4. Fill it up with a squirt of soda water.
  5. Garnish with an orange slice and enjoy!

The OG Aperol Spritz is amazing the way it is, but when you’re ready to turn things upside down, try getting creative with these delicious variations – all with our Italian pal Aperol, of course.

Rosé Aperol Spritz

If you thought the Aperol spritz couldn’t get more summery, let us introduce you to the summer drink to end them all: the Rosé Aperol spritz. This recipe takes up the rose theme with a dash of rose water and a rose petal to garnish. We have exactly zero complaints.

Get the recipe!

Strawberry and ginger spritz

This variant is a bit more elaborate than the original, with mixed up fresh strawberries, simple syrup and a dash of ginger beer. The ginger brings a maneuverability that plays well with the bitterness of the aperol.

Get the recipe!

Amalfi spritz

The Amalfi Spritz is like the Aperol Spritz is going on vacation to the Caribbean and deciding not to come home. It keeps the Aperol and Prosecco elements and adds a lime and pineapple kick. One of those little paper umbrellas is essential for this drink.

Get the recipe!

Holiday Aperol Punch

For the black sheep who can’t wait for summer to be over, we’ve found this Christmas Aperol punch. The messed up rosemary tastes like it is bundled up in your favorite sweater. The recipe is designed for making large batches so you can stay a little tipsy all winter long.

Get the recipe!

Aperol and Beer: An Unlikely Match

Try adding a dash of Aperol to your favorite IPA or wheat or sour beer – it sounds bizarre, but that little kiss of bitterness is really fun and delicious.

The bittersweet Aperol spritz is an aperitif at heart, which means it’s meant to increase your appetite (Italians almost always eat while drinking). When choosing a cocktail to go with your cocktail, the traditional Italian way of opting for small servings of salty snacks is – you will thirst for more!

Meat and cheese platter

A mix of cold meats and cheeses ensures that the ultimate happy hour meal comes out on top.

For cheese, choose something that brings out the bittersweet flavors of the cocktail, like Chevriou, Brillat-Savarin, or Rove des Garrigues. In terms of meat, you can’t go wrong with salty ham or salami.

Get the recipe!

Potato Chips

Yes, seriously – the light and salty crunch of this lowbrow nosh actually makes for a great combination with a spritz.

Crostini with smoked salmon

This bite-sized appetizer of bite-sized baked baguette topped with olive oil, cream cheese, and smoked salmon with lemon and dill will really complement the light, bitter flavors of the Aperol spritz without overwhelming it. Plus, it looks elegant (just like the drink).

Get the recipe!

Cicchetti

This traditional Venetian selection of small side dishes meant to be eaten with fingers or toothpicks goes perfectly with a late afternoon spritz on the porch. Think: olives, nuts, hard-boiled egg halves, calamari, artichoke hearts and tiny sandwiches made with meat, seafood and vegetables.

Get the recipe!

brunch

While the Aperol spritz is Really The cocktail is supposed to be an aperitif and appears in all American brunch menus right next to the mimosa and Bloody Mary. So let’s say order the fried egg and focaccia sandwich, sip it, and enjoy your Sunday.

Even with simple cocktail recipes, there is always room to perfect your craft with advice from the professionals. We reached out to Michele Alfonso, mixology teacher at New York Bartending School and head bartender at Esca, for expert tips and tricks on how to make the perfect Aperol spritz.

  1. Always use Prosecco. After all, an Italian aperitif calls for bubbly Italian! Plus, Prosecco’s flavor profile is fruity and sweeter than other bubbles, so it works well with (rather than competing with) the Aperol.
  2. Use a collins glass. While most people serve aperol spritzer in white wine glasses, Alfonzo prefers this glass because it helps keep the bubbles focused. That way you won’t lose them as much as you would in a wide mouth jar.
  3. Chilled is better. Always keep your Aperol cold in the fridge and cool your glass before – your Spritz tastes much better!
  4. First add ice and prosecco to the glass. Then add the Aperol – this will prevent the Aperol from settling on the bottom.
  5. Playing with side dishes. While the orange slice is traditionally treated with a spritz, replacing a lemon slice ensures a particularly fresh taste. Olives also go very well with Prosecco if you want to add a hearty touch to the drink.

Brooke Sager is a freelance writer who shares her thoughts on wine, wellness, beauty, relationships, and anything lifestyle related.




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