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Every season has its cocktails, and spring is a wonderful time to lighten up from the heavy, warming, cream based drinks to something crisp and refreshing. Nothing fits that bill better than an Aperol Spritz.
An Aperol Spritz is an Italian aperitif, which is a drink that is traditionally enjoyed before a meal. It became popular in the 1950s.
It consists of prosecco, Aperol, soda water, and a slice of orange. It’s an easy 3-2-1 drink, meaning 3 parts prosecco, 2 parts Aperol, and 1 part soda water. The recipe is right on the bottle. It has a very crisp flavor and a lovely coral color. It’s not a heavy or overly alcohol-laden drink, so it is perfect for warmer weather.
You may not know Slim Aarons by name, but you may have seen his work. He was a photographer who photographed the Babe Paleys and Jackie Kennedys of the world in their natural habitat, giving us a glimpse of how the leisure set lived in the post-war period of the 50s and 60s.
Slim Aarons fought in WWII and when he got home he said, “From now on, I’m going to walk on the sunny side of the street. I’m going to have fun photographing attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places.” And did he ever. 🙂 His photos are like something out of a dream.
So back to the drink. Aperol was originally created in 1919 in Padua, Italy and it is made from various flowers and rhubarb. It didn’t really become popular until after WWII.
I had to go to a couple of my local liquor stores to find Aperol, but I’m sure larger chain stores have it, or you can even buy it on Amazon!
I don’t really care for prosecco and saw a recipe where you can substitute rosé in the recipe. Who doesn’t love rosé?
So I substituted the prosecco with a sparkling rosé. So. Good. I did 3 parts sparkling rosé, 2 parts Aperol, and 1 part soda water. I added all of this to a glass filled with crushed ice. Then I added a slice of fresh orange and took a sip.
I cannot tell you how crisp and light and refreshing this drink is. Spring in a glass. And if you’re wearing that Lilly Pulitzer dress, even better. 🙂
Lilly Pulitzer was an American socialite and an heiress to the Standard Oil fortune who started a fruit juice stand in Palm Beach, Florida to use up the fruit from her orange groves. She got tired of the juice splattering on her clothes so she made some brightly colored printed cotton shift dresses to camouflage the juice stains. Women went CRAZY for her designs and an iconic brand was born.
And here’s a crossover for you: A photo of a young Lilly Pulitzer with her husband, taken by Slim Aarons! 🙂 (Why don’t people look like that anymore?)
Do you remember several years ago when Target partnered with Lilly Pulitzer? I went, stood in line, and by the time I got in there all that was left were sad 4-ways with empty hangers.
The stuff sold out in MINUTES and it looked like a carcass that had been picked over by vultures. Those same vultures promptly put that stuff up on eBay at triple the price. The demand remains strong.
Anyway, everything about Lilly Pulitzer just screams spring. She even said, “Despite the forecast, live like it’s spring. 🙂
An Aperol Spritz is normally served in a wine glass but I decided to use an old-fashioned glass. I just like the way it looks and feels in my hand.
I was out of town recently and found the most amazing thing–an Aperol Spritz already made in a bottle! Pop the top and you are good to go. 🙂
What a great time to be alive. 🙂
And if you don’t drink or are having guests who don’t, I recently tried a lovely drink you could serve alongside or instead of an Aperol Spritz. It’s called San Pellegrino Essenza.
It comes in several flavors, but I like the Tangerine and Wild Strawberry flavor the best. It is flavored mineral water and has a very gentle bubble. I find other types of mineral water to have rather aggressive carbonation, but not so with San Pellegrino. Plus, the packaging is lovely.
Roald Dahl once said, “Nothing is fabulous any more.” And he said this DECADES ago. Imagine what he would think of us now. 🙁 I think he’s mostly right. But there are a few pockets of fabulous still hanging on, and this retro cocktail is definitely one of them. So go make yourself an Aperol Spritz and toast to fabulous. Cheers! 🙂
Do you have a favorite spring cocktail? Have you tried an Aperol Spritz? Let me know in the comment section.
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