All About Aperol: The Colorful Apertif of Italy
Bright, vibrant, and with a flavor profile that’s unmistakably summery, Aperol is the key to refreshing spritzes on patios worldwide, but there’s more to this zesty aperitif than meets the eye.
What’s Inside the Bottle?
The exact recipe of Aperol is a closely guarded secret. What we do know is that it comprises a delicate blend of bitter orange, gentian, rhubarb, and cinchona among other ingredients. The result? A beautifully balanced drink that’s both bitter and sweet, with a hint of zest and a complex aromatic profile.
At 11% alcohol by volume, Aperol is lighter than many spirits, which is why it’s often the choice for daytime sipping, brunches, or early evening aperitifs.
Aperol’s Rise to Stardom: The Spritz
While Aperol has a rich history, its global popularity truly skyrocketed with the rise of the Aperol Spritz. This simple yet refreshing cocktail is made with Aperol, prosecco, and a splash of soda, served over ice with a slice of orange.
The Aperol Spritz, with its bright hue and bubbly nature, became synonymous with summer and leisure. Instagram feeds brimmed with photos of this sun-kissed drink, making it a modern classic. (If you’re looking for an autumn-inspired Aperol Spritz, be sure to mix up one of my Fall Aperol Spritzes.)
Beyond the Spritz: Aperol in Modern Mixology
While the Spritz is truly iconic, the versatility of Aperol goes beyond this single drink. Its complex flavor profile means it can be used in a variety of cocktails. Here are two more of my own Aperol recipes to consider:
Above, the Aperol Negroni is a vibrant twist on the classic Negroni cocktail. It features a slightly less bitter profile due to the substitution of Aperol for the traditional Campari. The drink is typically garnished with a slice of orange or a twist, adding a citrusy aroma and a splash of color.
The Peach Aperol Sour (featured above) is a delicious concoction that combines the tangy sweetness of peaches with the distinctive, herbaceous notes of Aperol. Fresh lemon juice and simple syrup are added to the mix, creating a sweet and sour balance that tantalizes the taste buds. The inclusion of egg white introduces a silky texture and a frothy top layer when shaken. You’ve got to try it!
Aperol, with its rich history and unmistakable flavor, stands as a testament to the Italian tradition of aperitifs. Whether you’re sipping a classic Spritz as the sun sets or trying one of the modern mixes, Aperol is sure to bring a touch of Italian sunshine to your glass.
Author Meet Kelly Sparks, the creative mastermind and cocktail influencer behind @QueenBeeMixology. While mixology may not be her day job, it is her passion. As the Founder and CEO of VMG Studios, a successful and award-winning creative agency and video production studio, Kelly brings her expertise in creativity to the world of cocktails. As a self-taught and dedicated do-it-yourselfer, Kelly makes the journey to amazing cocktails accessible to everyone. And when she’s not hard at work, you can find her sipping a delicious drink with her husband.