My friend Amanda recently spent two weeks in Italy on her honeymoon, and she came back with a new favorite drink: the Aperol Spritz. Lucky for me, Amanda is a delightful and generous hostess, and after enjoying a Spritz at her house, I am fully on the bandwagon. Aperol is an Italian aperitif, bitterwseet with citrus and herbal flavors. It is similar to Campari (and comes from the same parent company), but at 11% ABV, it has less than half the alcohol content of Campari. That's one of the reasons it makes such a refreshing summer cocktail - it's light enough that you can drink it all day long (not that I would suggest such a thing). The Aperol Spritz is a simple cocktail - you just need Aperol, Prosecco, and club soda.
3 parts Prosecco or other sparkling wine
2 parts Aperol
Splash of club soda
Orange slices for garnish
Fill your glass with ice, then pour over the Prosecco and aperol. Stir gently, then finish with a splash of soda and garnish with orange. (Amanda reports that in Italy, it is often served with a green olive, but I like the orange and that's what's recommended on the Aperol bottle.)
In poking around the internet to learn more around Aperol, I stumbled across a Spritz variation that recommends adding about an ounce of gin ("You know. For the older drinker.") In the name of science, I tried this version as well, and I'm pleased to report that it is also delicious, though it does somewhat undermine my earlier remarks about this being such a light, lower-alcohol summer cocktail. Finally, if you've invested in a bottle of Aperol and want to branch out beyond the Spritz, Serious Eats has a bunch of ideas for you. Cheers!