It’s probably only appropriate that the main ingredient in one of the world’s best-known aperitifs is the colour of a sunset. Yes, we are talking about Aperol and the aperitif is, of course, an Aperol Spritz.
This Italian Aperitif was created back in 1919, and it is through the slang for apéritif, the word ‘apéro’, that the name of this bright orange liquid is derived.
And while the Italians have been quaffing this pleasantly citrusy and yet slightly bitter liqueur the whole time, it is only in the last decade or so that international interest in Aperol has really taken hold.
The Campari Group have put a lot of time and energy into promoting Aperol and now it’s hard to walk through a bar, especially in summer, without seeing someone holding ‘sunshine in a glass’.
Yet it’s not just the amount of promotion that has made Aperol popular. As low-AVB, day-drinking and bitterness take hold, Aperol starts to tick a lot of boxes.
Aperol is a lively drink that evokes the Italian lifestyle, with a light but rich taste. It has a unique flavour, thanks to the secret recipe, which has never been changed. Infused with selected ingredients including bitter and sweet oranges and many other herbs (including rhubarb) and roots, in perfect proportions.
The nose is lightly alcoholic, zesting orange with appealing complex herbal scents harmonized with a touch of vanilla.
The body has an intense orange top with herbal and woody body notes pleasantly bittersweet and salty. The texture is velvety and rounded, with long-lasting orange and wood memories. The finish provides a long pleasant typical herb-like bitterness.
Tapping into a trend toward lower-alcohol drinks, Aperol’s modest ABV may well be key to its popularity. Although alcohol consumption is generally believed to be dropping across the board, it’s especially with the young that the no-or-low has taken off.
But don’t discount just how easily Instagram-able the bright orange drink actually is. Do a search for #spritz and it won’t take long for you to realise that Aperol is Instagram gold.
It’s important to realise that there is a whole world of drinks that you can make that go beyond an Aperol Spritz and the liqueur can accompany a whole range of spirits. So if you are looking to recreate the whole Italian Aperitivo moment, we suggest you explore exactly how versatile this aperitif can be. After all, there are some tasty traditional snacks called ”cicchetti”, which is similar to the Spanish tapas, to go along with your tasty drinks.
So if you’re still lockdown and in isolation, why not pretend you’re in Venice with a good aperol cocktail and a few of the cicchetti recipes you can find here.