Aperol: the kinder, gentler apertif

My sister has an awesome job; it’s one that allows her to travel the world and have great adventures. I live vicariously through her text messages, blog posts, and Instagrams. Today’s message came to me while she sipped an Aperol Royce at Harry’s New York Bar. Yes, the bar in Paris, named after bartender Harry MacElhone, creator of the Sidecar and French 75, author of Harry’s ABC’s of Mixing Cocktails, and one of Imbibe Magazine’s 25 most influential people.

To share in her experience I made myself a drink.  Although I was unable to enjoy Paris in Spring,  I did relax on my sunny porch and consume the taste of summer with an Aperol Spritz.

Created around 1919, Aperol was originally produced by brothers Luigi and Silvio Barbieri for a large exhibition, the Padua International Fair. Silvio Barbieri named Aperol after the French word for aperitif, ‘apéro,’ which he had learned on a trip to France and seemed appropriate for their bittersweet liqueur.

Nicknamed “Campari on training wheels,” Aperol contains 11% ABV as compard to Campari’s 20% ABV.  Aperol is now produced by the Campari Company; its ingredients are, among others, bitter orange, gentian flower, rhubarb, and cinchona flower. The Apertif was originally targeted to men and sold well in Italy.  Sometime around 1930 the Barbieri Brothers changed their thinking and began targeting woman. The new ads presented the benefits of Aperol for the “active” woman.  The lower alcohol content was boasted as a healthier alternative to stronger alcohol.  Its popularity began growing among younger generations, becoming successful during WWII.imageThe Aperol Spritz is known by many names: Italian Spritz, Spritz Veneziano, the Veneziano, and in Venice, simply “spreetz.”  The most popular version in Italy is served with Prosecco and is just now becoming popular in the United States. With a lower % ABV the Spritz is enjoyed all day in Italy.

It’s a digestive drink that whets the appetite.  It’s very easy to make and the proportions can be changed to suit your personal taste. Sitting in the hot sun, the Aperol Spritz is the perfect, low-alcohol refresher.

APEROL SPRITZ
In a glass filled with ice add the following;
3 parts Prosecco
2 parts Aperol
1 splash of soda
1 slice of citrus, preferably orange

 

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