Sometimes, you want a complicated drink: lots of ingredients, fancy garnishes, intricate preparations. But sometimes it’s August and it’s hot and you want a cold drink without a lot of fuss and that’s ok, too. I always try to stick with Peggy Olson’s definition of a cocktail: you need at least three ingredients, because anything less isn’t a real cocktail, it’s an emergency. (This isn’t really what makes a cocktail – that’s spirits, bitters, sugar, and ice – but that’s neither here nor there.) And there are few drinks more simple than an Aperol Spritz, especially when it includes one of our favorite summer ingredients: blackberries! Let’s make a Blackberry Aperol Spritz. – Andrew
Blackberry Aperol Spritz
Add a handful of blackberries to the bottom of a glass, then add the Aperol and muddle the blackberries. Add ice and top with the soda water and sparkling wine. Give it a stir and enjoy!
Aperol is a bright red, mildly bitter Italian amaro. It’s filled with bright flavors of orange and rhubarb, and it clocks in at a gentle 11% alcohol by volume. Combined with sparkling wine – we used a sparkling rosé – and a splash of soda water, you have a refreshing, effervescent cocktail with lots of bright orange flavors and a low proof that won’t knock you out on a hot day. You might even have two, if you’re feeling adventurous.
The Aperol Spritz, the flagship drink of the Aperol brand, is a simple affair that officially includes just three ingredients: Aperol, sparkling wine, and soda water. But what do we do when we find a simple drink? We play with it. Cocktail recipes are templates; they’re not carved into stone. They’re not meant to sit pretty on a mantle and never change: they’re meant to make you happy, whatever that means today. So we added some muddled blackberries because they’re in season right now and when blackberries are in season, wow, you should be eating them by the handful and throwing them into every drink in sight. Bursting with juice and dark fruit flavor, they’re perfect for adding notes of stone fruit to any drink.
So muddle in some blackberries, or whatever you have on hand, as long as it’s fresh and in season – and see what that does to your drinking.
Glassware by Liquorary
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Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper
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