by Stevi on March 9, 2008

in Amaro,Bitters,Gin,Vermouth,Whisky

I picked up a bottle of Aperol at Washington State Store #101, which for those in the know is the store to know about, since it’s the most likely to have interesting items on the shelf.

Tonight I opened the bottle of Aperol, and on first taste new I was going to like this “little sister” of Campari.

I knew I’d seen something about it one one of the many cocktail blogs i read, but when I went to find a recipe, I found it wasn’t even listed as an ingredient in the CocktailDB. A quick search, however, revealed the suggestion that Aperol could be used anywhere Campari was called for.

Now, to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever actually had Campari, so all the following is going merely on how I like the cocktails themselves.

My first experiment was to use Aperol in a Negroni:

Aperol Negroni
1 oz Aperol
1 oz sweet vermouth (Vya)
1 oz gin (Van Gogh)

stir all ingredients with ice, strain into cocktail glass, enjoy!

I really enjoyed this drink. The Van Gogh gin and Vya sweet vermouth have come out as a very complimentary pair in several recipes I’ve tried, and the Aperol added a really nice sweetness. The overall cocktail was really smooth and enjoyable.

I tried a second time with Aviation gin. I found this version to be a tad too sweet and nowhere near as silky smooth as with the Van Gogh. I wasn’t surprised the Aviation was sweeter, but was really surprised the Van Gogh version just felt smoother on the mouth.

As an additional variation, I tried spritzing the “Negroni”.

Aperol Negroni Spritz
1 oz Aperol
1 oz sweet vermouth (Vya)
1 oz gin (Van Gogh)
1 oz club soda

pour all but soda into rocks glass, add rocks, add soda, stir.

This added a nice refreshing quality to the drink, but was maybe too drinkable — seemed to disappear rather quickly, which means I wasn’t really enjoying it as much per sip as without the soda.

While figuring out what to make tonight, I caught the new Campari post at Oh Gosh!, so naturally decided to try the Boulevardier.

Aperol Boulevardier
1 1/2 oz bourbon (Ezra Brooks)
3/4 oz Aperol
3/4 oz sweet vermouth (Vya)

stir all ingredients with ice, strain into cocktail glass, garnish with lemon twist

This is also a very enjoyable drink. I bet it would be even better with Woodford Reserve.

Now, I’ve been looking around, and am not seeing that anyone has named these Aperol variations, so I’m tempted to, but not having much inspiration as of yet. Guess I’ll go build another Boulevardier and think about it.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

ikkyu2 December 31, 1969 at 4:00 pm
ikkyu2 March 9, 2008 at 8:43 pm

bought me an Aperol Spritz at the secret bar in town. She says everyone is always drinking them in Venice in the springtime.

It has a kick to it! A sort of surprising kick.


anavolena March 9, 2008 at 8:52 pm

the aperol spritz is on the list when i get a bottle of prosecco in the house. too bad i wasn’t thinking of that when we downed three bottles at happy hour(s) last week…

i’ve not been to b&b (not having been in the bay area for a while) but apparently one of the bartenders is leaving.

which reminds me, i still have to write up my visit to the swankest cocktail bar in seattle.


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