Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bar Exam: Intro to Aperol cocktail- a new classic?

There's something enjoyable about writing about a new cocktail find at ten in the morning. It seems somehow wrong and right at the same time. There's that ingrained guilt over thinking about booze so early in the morning, the "should I be worried about this?", countered by the anticipatory thought of "what am I going to be sipping after work?" Oh, well, I'll leave that for others to worry about. This blog is really all about sharing ideas, and maybe giving you something new, different, and delightful to enjoy at home!

I read about this Intro to Aperol cocktail in what has become my go to inspiration for new cocktails, Washington Post writer Jason Wilson's bi-monthly spirits column. A couple of weeks ago he had a column dedicated to what are classic cocktails, and is there room for new classics? Martinis, Manhattans, margaritas, etc. are rightly considered "classics". But shouldn't some of the new cocktails that today's mixologists concoct have a chance to elevated to the same pantheon? To me, of course they should. Who are we to say that some new-millennial drink couldn't possibly be as good as some 1920's favorite. It's like closing off a sports hall of fame to new inductees. As Wilson went off about new ingredients and possibilities he focused on the Italian aperitivo Aperol, which I had zero experience with. Wildly popular in Italy, not so much here. Called by one writer "training wheels for Campari" due it's slightly sweeter, less bitter flavor. This drink, concocted by Audrey Saunders of New York's Pegu Club, while probably not a classic, is an absolutely delicious, lighter weight drink, a perfect starter cocktail for a night of indulgence!
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Intro to Aperol
From Washington Post/Jason Wilson

Wilson: "It's a rare cocktail in which Aperol (a bright orange, low-proof Italian aperitivo) takes center stage. A version of this is a mainstay on the menu at the famed Pegu Club, where the drink's garnish of orange peel is flamed before it is dropped into the drink."

1 serving
2 ounces Aperol
1 ounce gin
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup (see NOTE)
1 dash Angostura bitters
Twist of orange peel, for garnish

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the Aperol, gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and bitters. Shake well, then strain into a chilled cocktail (martini) glass. Twist the orange peel over the drink to release its oils, then drop it into the glass.

NOTE: To make simple syrup, combine 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a slow rolling boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof container and let cool to room temperature. Cover tightly, and refrigerate until chilled through; store indefinitely.
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one year ago today on E.D.T.: the Keller v. Achatz carnival of excess!


kab said...

Wow…that is so weird! I was just going through old posts, and ran across one from last year for the Driftwood Room's Ginger Drop that calls for rhubarb liqueur, i.e.…Aperol! Hmmm…

bb said...

Must be something in the air...or the glass!!

Jude said...

I made this cocktail this past weekend for friends (and again tonight), and it was a hit. I didn't have orange, but was lucky enough to come across a bergamot earlier that day, which was an absolute treat for the twist. I also aded 3 small droplets of blood orange olive oil. This is an instant classic, which I will make again & again. Thanks for posting!