It's 95˚F right now in Brooklyn and my air conditioner is busted, so the timing for this refreshing drink couldn't be any better. Like the Americano highball I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, the Aperol Spritz fills the role when the weather is scorching and you want something simple, refreshing, and light enough to allow you to drink during the day and still allow you to make it to the evening's festivities.
2 oz Aperol
1 oz Carpene Malvolti Prosecco
1 oz club soda
0.5 oz orange juice
Half and orange wheel, as garnish
Tools: no shaker needed here
Glassware: chilled rocks glass
Method: Add everything to a chilled rocks glass, fill with ice, give a light stir, and garnish with the orange.
Refreshing, lightly sweet, tart, and bitter, all while being low in alcohol--the Aperol Spritz is everything you want for daytime drinking on a hot ass Summer day.
Campari vs. Aperol
As long as we're on the subject of the Aperol Spritz and the Americano (which features Campari), it's worth noting a few similarities and differences between the two bitter Italian aperitivos that are often compared to one another.
The two products are similar in the sense that they are both bright colored, bitter, with herbal and citrus notes, especially orange and grapefruit. They are also both considered aperitivos, which are drinks taken before dinner in order to stimulate the appetite.
From there some notable differences emerge. Campari is a lot more bitter than Aperol, while Aperol is sweeter than Campari. Although both are relatively low proof, Campari has a higher alcohol content (24%) than Aperol (11%). Although Campari came first -- having been created in 1860 by Caspare Campari while Aperol was introduced 60 years later by the Barbieri brothers -- they are now both produced by the Campari company.
The differences in proof and sweetness between Campari and Aperol can sometimes make substituting one for the other in a cocktail recipe a more difficult venture than one would imagine. But it is because of their similarities that many regard Aperol as the little brother of Campari, or as I sometimes jokingly call it, Campari Light.
*This post is part of a series in which Payman takes on the task of making and writing about every cocktail featured in the PDT Cocktail Book, as well as providing an awesome photo of each drink taken by Vanessa Bahmani Photography.
**Got a question? He can be found on twitter @paystyle, you can email him at email@example.com, or simply drop him a comment below.