Packed with the bitter-sweet flavours of the Dolce Vita
Aperol is the best friend for the lower alcohol drinker wanting to maintain the sophisticated, bitter-sweet tastes of the classic Italian aperitivos. At only 11% ABV (less than half that of its elder brother Campari) and packed with flavour, it can happily take being diluted to produce glassfuls of delightful to 2% to 3% ABV drinks which are distinctly grown-up. It is packed with flavours from the usual “secret family recipe” but which we’re told includes oranges, rhubarb and gentian amongst a host of other herbs and roots.
The most famous cocktail is the Aperol Spritz, traditionally made half and half with 11% Prosecco but for which you can happily substitute any 0% sparkling wine (I recommend Nozeco) and go easy on the Aperol. My perfect recipe is to fill a glass with ice, add ½ sparkling first then a ¼ quantity of Aperol and top-up with another ¼ fizzy water. Add a slice of orange which is the go-to fruit decoration for any Aperol based drink. This delicious cocktail is just 3% ABV but tastes 100% of sophisticated Italians living the dolce-vita in a sun-soaked plaza.
Drinkers liking something a little less bitter, will enjoy it well diluted with orange juice (and of course ice and an orange slice) and the robust taste will easily take dilution 5:1 down to an easy 2% ABV. I also love it with tonic water, where I’d stick to a classic Indian rather than any of the more modern spiced-up versions which may not happily complement the Aperol’s already heady flavours. But enjoy experimenting with your tonic waters and indeed many other mixers. Some say grapefruit juice is best to cut the sweetness, others suggest bitter-lemon and Angostura bitters or pineapple juice. Or go the whole hog and make a Bird a of Paradise cocktail – Aperol, pineapple juice, fresh lime and, for us, 0% rum
Or this drink may well be available from your high street supplier – we’re sorry we cannot check them all but you might like to.
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