The most popular cocktail post I’ve written is one from September 2012 that features an Aperol Spritz. I didn’t know it at the time, but Aperol and other lower-proof spirits and fortified wines, such as sloe gin, Campari, sherry and vermouth, are at the forefront of a new trend: low-alcohol cocktails. I’ve written all about it for this month’s Calgary Herald column, running Saturday.
The obvious question becomes: are they any good? Or does mixing drinks with liqueurs and spirits that clock in at lower than 40 percent alcohol by volume render them the near-beer equivalents of the cocktail world? Hardly. I sampled some while doing “research” for my story and they are just as tasty as their boozier brethren. Bonus: you can drink more of them before your evening goes sideways.
Here’s a tart and delicious one worth trying from Art of the Shim: Low-Alcohol Cocktails to keep you level, by Dinah Sanders.
Sophia Loren Shim
- 2 oz Aperol
- 1 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 oz bourbon (to qualify as low-alcohol a drink cannot contain more than 1/2 oz of an 80-proof or higher spirit)
- 4 dashes rhubarb bitters
Method: Chill an old fashioned glass. Shake ingredients with ice, then pour without straining into glass. Garnish with two lemon peels rolled together to create a flower.
— Recipe created by Kim Roselle at Flora and Fauna, Oakland, Calif., 2012