|Have you heard of Aperol? It's an Italian apéritif formulated in 1919. If it's new to you, that's because Aperol was reintroduced to the States in 2006. Sometimes compared to the more medicinal Campari, Aperol is a floral blend of orange, rhubarb, and other roots and herbs. At only 11% alcohol, this light spirit makes a lovely pre-dinner drink.
I recently sampled some while in Australia - of all places! - at the chic Emporium Hotel bar. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get the recipe for The Exquisite Garden, their signature cocktail which includes Aperol, but I can tell you that it's made up of vodka, Aperol, watermelon juice, passion fruit, and sugar, served straight up and garnished with an edible flower. Maybe I'll see if I can replicate it. In the meantime, here's an Aperol cocktail recipe I do have...
1 3/4 oz Aperol
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/4 oz simple syrup
1 dash orange bitters
Shake well over ice in a shaker. Strain into a sour glass, and serve.