Ah, the lovely Aperol. I first tasted this hyper-electric orange liquer in Firenze, where they mix it with some combination of Prosecco and sparkling water. The resulting concoction is called a “Spritz”. There is some variation of this popular apperitif served in every city in Italy. Recently I tasted an amped up version, (Vegas-Style) from one of the best bartenders I know: Coop at CarneVino.
Coop’s version of a spritz was refreshing- not too sweet- with a very interesting sapid, almost saline edge. Initially floral, full of orange blossom and citrus zest (probably from the fresh orange and Aperol), there was a welcome acidity cutting through the middle of the flavors. Visually the olive in the glass was beautiful against the color of the drink, and also helped me understand the flavor profile overall. This is not your grandmother’s Aperol.
You can experiment with your own version of this cocktail- Aperol is available at most liquor and wine shops these days. It’s a versatile addition and lends well to most fruit and herbal infusions. Serve it in a highball glass, or in a wine goblet like the Italians do. There’s nothing that transports me more quickly to the piazzas of Venice or Verona than seeing this cheerful orange color in a bubbling glass garnished with a slice of fresh orange.
Coop didn’t reveal all the secrets behind his hand-crafted Spritz, but if you find yourself in Las Vegas, I am sure he’d be happy to re-create it for you. Salute!