We’ve all enjoyed an Aperol spritz, especially as a refreshing summer drink, although honestly I can drink them in any season. There’s just that little bit of bitter botanical quality in there that keeps me sipping, though not too botanical for me. It doesn’t taste like you’re drinking herbs.
Aperol is an orange Italian bitter liqueur made of gentian, rhubarb, and cinchona, among other ingredients that seem to be secret. My first aperol spritz was at restaurant on the rooftop of Eataly in New York City. Our daughter had one, too. She’d been drinking these for years, of course! She’s way more hip than us.
I’ve since then made them at home, which is easy. Our favorite local bartender showed me how to make them, cause hers are perfect. In case you’ve never made one, here’s the recipe. I strongly feel that the squeezed orange slice is key.
3-4 ounces Aperol
3-4 ounces Prosecco
1 orange slice, squeezed
Top off of club soda
Add ice and voila!
There’s a restaurant in Oklahoma City that I go to with my other daughter and sometimes grand kids, called Pizza Gusto. Their Stefano Ferarra pizza oven was hand-built in Naples, which is very cool. It’s a very casual and comfortable restaurant, with exceptionally good food. Their white cheese truffle pizza is incredible. And so is their Aperol gin spritz.
I’ve attempted to replicate it at home; the key is that it’s still spritzy, refreshing although a little more alcoholic, and a little orange-y. And I think I figured it out! For being the world’s worst bartender, I’m pretty proud of myself!
Aperol Gin Spritz
Makes one large drink
2 oz Aperol
2 oz gin
2 oz lime juice
1 1/2 oz simple syrup
6 oz club soda
1/2 small orange
Orange slice, optional
Combine the Aperol, gin, lime juice and simple syrup in a 2 cup measuring container. Stir well, then pour into prepared glass. (I was going to use a shaker, but then I realized that it was unnecessary.)
Squeeze the orange half into the glass. Top with soda and add ice. You’re welcome for yet another attempt at a left hand pour!
Garnish the Aperol gin spritz with an orange slice, if desired.