Tag Archives: Aperol

Drink of the Week: Aperol Spritz (à la Adriatic)

When I first wrote about this drink back in 2012 it wasn’t yet a thing. Now, the Aperol Spritz is having a moment, both here in Canada and across the pond in Italy, Slovenia and Croatia.

Cheers to Europe! Who knew the Aperol Spritz was so popular across the pond? I’m sipping this one outside the walls of Dubrovnik at cliffside bar Buza 1.

My husband and I have just returned from a trip to Europe, where we drank beer, wine and our share of Aperol Spritzes. I first spotted the gorgeous, topaz-hued drink in Venice, where happy-hour tipplers were getting their aperitif on at outdoor cafe-style bars (not that surprising, since Aperol, a bitter orange and herbal spirit, is made in Italy).

Just a couple glasses of Aperol awesomeness in Venice.

We travelled on to Slovenia, where prices on the cocktail dropped from 4 euros to 2.5 euros (woot!) at trendy patios along the Ljubljanica River in Ljubljana (try saying that fast five times in a row). Farther south in Croatia, in both Split and Dubrovnik, the drink was as hot as ever.

Nectar of the emperors? An Aperol Spritz inside Roman emperor Diocletian’s palace in Split, Croatia.

If you haven’t had one yet, you’ve got to try this drink. It’s so simple — really nothing more than sparkling white wine or Prosecco bitter oranged-up with Aperol, and diluted with a splash of sparkling water. It’s also refreshing, delicious and beautiful to behold. Drinking one on a Calgary patio — or next to the walls of Dubrovnik — will make you feel très chic all summer long.

Aperol Spritz (à la Adriatic)

  • 1.5 oz Aperol
  • 3-4 oz sparkling white wine or Prosecco
  • Splash sparkling water (not soda water!)
  • Garnish: half an orange wheel

Method: Build over ice in a wine glass and garnish with an orange wedge.

— Recipe courtesy the nice bartender at Buza 1 Bar, Dubrovnik

Drink of the Week: Sophia Loren Shim

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.

This gorgeous and delicious drink only contains the amount of alcohol in one 12-oz beer.

This gorgeous drink, called a Sophia Loren Shim, only contains the amount of alcohol in one 12-oz beer.

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