Aperol – An Italian Summertime Elixir             

Well it’s summer and as we swelter through the dog days of August our thoughts turn to, well, Aperol.  

This is especially true at this time of year in Italy when you see people sitting and chatting on piazzas in Rome, Venice and, well, everywhere sipping festive, bright orange-colored drinks. Most likely, that drink will involve Aperol, a liqueur that is almost as popular in Italy as Prosecco. Aperol is an Italian liqueur made by infusing orange peel and oranges with a subtle blend of bitter and sweet herbs and spices.

Originally created in 1919 at the International Fair in Padova, it quickly became one of Italy’s – and the world's – most popular aperitifs. With its relatively low alcohol content (11 percent), intriguing aromas of orange and tangerine, complex bittersweet taste and its vivacious bright orange Aperol bottle with a glass of Aperol on the rocks.color, Aperol may well be the perfect summertime refresher. It is refreshing, vibrant and convivial.

To serve, simply pour some chilled Aperol over ice in a small tumbler and garnish with an orange or lemon peel. It really can’t get much simpler than that. Because of its complex bittersweet taste, it is also used as an ingredient in cocktails. Perhaps its most popular format is an Aperol Spritz, which consists of 2 parts chilled Aperol with 3 parts Prosecco along with a splash of soda served in a tall (chilled) glass.

Below are some recipes for other popular Aperol-based cocktail drinks. However, there is a seemingly endless number of Aperol drink recipes and you are limited only by your imagination.

Aperol Sour

4 parts Aperol liqueur
2 parts lemon juice
1 part sugar syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a small tumbler. Add ice and garnish with a slice of orange.

Aperol Betty

2 parts Aperol liqueur
2 parts orange juice
1 part grapefruit juice

Shake with ice and strain into a tall glass. Add ice and garnish with a
slice of orange.

Aperol Classico

1 part (chilled) Aperol liqueur
A splash of sparkling water

Pour into a small (chilled) tumbler and garnish with an orange rind.

Aperol Pompelmo

1 part Aperol liqueur
2 parts grapefruit juice

Pour into a tall glass over ice and garnish with an orange rind.


©Richard Marcis
August 3, 2012

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