You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘aperol’ tag.
According to the calendar, summer is now officially over! I took a little summer vaca from writing, but not from imbibing. Here are a few cocktail highlights from my summer.
My favorite summer cocktail
My friends Brian and Jeff introduced me to the Intro to Aperol and I fell in love at first sip. It is the perfect combination of bitter, savory, tart and sweet—and it is amazingly drinkable!
Intro to Aperol (from Pegu Club)
2 oz Aperol
1 oz gin
¾ oz lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup
Old Man Peter
Nothing says summer like a garden full of delicious veggies. And the thought of a lush vegetable garden reminds me of the childhood tale of Peter Rabbit, the mischievous bunny who gobbles up Mr. McGregor’s crops. What would the sneaky rabbit sip on in his old age? When I heard Sam Treadway at Backbar had a Negroni variation that attempted to answer this question, I couldn’t resist. The vegetal qualities of Cold River gin was the perfect choice to combine with the carrot-infused Aperol.
Old Man Peter (created by Sam Treadway, Backbar)
1 oz Cold River gin
1 oz Cinzano Sweet vermouth
1 oz carrot infused Aperol (created with pickled carrots, blended into Aperol and fine strained out)
Shake and double strain into a chilled rocks glass, rinsed with chartreuse.
Sex on the Beach
I celebrated a friend’s 25th anniversary of his arrival in America by going back in cocktail-time. Arriving at the 80s themed party, I thought “what cocktails were people drinking in the 80s?” From an interesting list that included White Russian, Tequila Sunrise, and Alabama Slammer, I chose Sex on the Beach. I’m not going to lie, the vodka, peach schnapps, orange and cranberry juice combo was kind of delicious. Time travel can be fun.
To the memories of beautiful summer day and to the wonders of fall ahead. Cheers!
Tonight I met Susan at Craigie on Main and we decided to do the Cocktail Whim—four half-sized cocktails that our bartender Carrie chose for us beginning with a French 75 version and ending with an Italian-inspired flip. I have done this before and really love it for a number of reasons:
1. You really don’t have to make a decision;
2. You try drinks you might not normally chose for yourself (and if you’re not crazy about it, hey, it’s only a small drink);
3. You get to enjoy your drinks in super-cute mini-glasses.
Susan and I had lots of catching up to do and were talking a lot, so my thoughts on the drinks a bit more cursory than my usual reviews. Admittedly, I was more focused on talking than on drinking. So, I guess this post is like the cocktail whim itself, a little taste to pique your interest.
We started with a Kingston 75—a version of a French 75 with Appleton rum, triple sec, lemon juice, topped with Champagne. Its a warmer version of one of my favorite cocktails. A really nice light beginning.
The second drink, which both Susan and I really liked, is a creation of Carrie’s and it had yet to be named. It was made with mezcal, Aperol, grapefruit juice, lime juice, agave syrup, Fee Bros Whiskey Barrel bitters, and a pinch of salt. The mezcal made it smoky and the Aperol added that citrus bitterness that I love.
Our third drink, the Mediterranean Union, was my favorite. This had Fighting Cock bourbon, house-made amer picon (a French bitter liqueur), and Cynar. The bitterness of the amer picon plays very nicely with the bourbon and the buttery artichokey Cynar. I love this kind of thing of a cold winter evening—it warms you from the inside. Yum!
We finished with the Florentine Flip which was Susan’s favorite (she loves flips!). This herbalicious flip has lots going on—Punt de Mes, Amaro Nonino (a wonderful Italian herbal liqueur that was a new one for me), Benedictine, Angostura bitters, a dash of orange blossom, an egg (of course), finished with flamed essence of mint. A delicious ending to our cocktail quartet!
With Christmas upon us, the nostalgia of holiday traditions has overtaken my sensibilities. I come from a family that thrives on traditions. And I am the first to admit that some are pretty cheesy, but I totally love it! There is comfort and reassurance in the familiar. I do not find it boring or monotonous as some may, but rather I am invigorated by keeping cherished traditions alive. We are who we are because we bring the past to the present. And as time marches on and loved ones are no longer with us we remember them in these family rituals. For example, this Christmas as I felt the sadness of losing my grandfather this past year, I couldn’t imagine not having toutaes (a homemade ravioli/tortellini). He learned to make these pastas from his mother and he passed along this tradition to me. As I rolled out pasta dough I thought about him—and in that way he will always be with me.
So, what does all this have to do with cocktails? The past couple nights my adventures in cocktails have been about traditions. Monday night I continued a pre-holiday outing with my brother and sister. Then Tuesday night I met friends for a traditional Christmastime drink.
Monday night, I introduced my brother Nick and sister Jess to Drink for our 2nd annual pre-holiday outing. We had lots of good drinks; I won’t describe all in detail, but instead I’ll share some highlights. Jess realized that maybe she does like cocktails after all while—if any place will convince you that cocktails are fabulous, its Drink. She especially enjoyed her Big Red (raspberry syrup, lemon, Aperol and vodka)—beautiful color for the holidays and it was a really nice mix of sweet and bitter. Nick wanted something a little stiffer so he enjoyed a Sazerac for the first time and then ended the evening with a Manhattan variation—equal parts Booker 127 proof bourbon and Punt de Mes—Aaron called it the Moto Guzzi (after the motorcycle). One sip of that and you realize why people drink booze to stay warm!
I decided to check another drink of my 100 must-have cocktails, and opted for the Champs Elysees.
As I took my first sip, I kind of fell in love—why have I never had this cocktail before? The drink features cognac, lemon, sugar, yellow Chartreuse, and bitters. Just look at that gorgeous golden color. The cognac offers a rich base and the yellow Chartreuse adds a subtle herbalness (its mellow than the green variety) and the lemon brightens the whole thing up. Its very drinkable and also complex in flavor. Really yum! This just may become a new favorite!
For my final drink of the evening, Aaron gave me his Battle of Hastings cocktail.
This was the perfect way to end the evening. The ingredients here were the inspiration for the name. And for those of you who don’t remember exactly what the Battle of Hastings was, don’t feel bad Jess, Nick and I didn’t either. But I learned it was the 1066 battle between the Saxons and the Normans. The Benedictine and Calvados are from Normandy, while the smoky Scotch is from the British Isle. But before all this yum booze gets added a demerara sugar cube is muddled with 7 dashes of Fee Bros. Whiskey Barrel Bitters (I previously thought I didn’t like these bitters, but this drink changed my mind). I absolutely loved the smokiness of the scotch and layers of flavors that the Benedictine and Calvados added. A perfect ending.
Tuesday night, I met Molly, Matt and Jeannie at No. 9 Park for a Tom and Jerry, a classic Christmastime cocktail developed in the early 19th century.
Of course this drink has nothing to do with the antics of the cat and mouse pair we remember from childhood. Instead it is a combination of a homemade batter of eggs, sugar and spices—cloves, nutmeg and all spice—served over rum and brandy that are mixed with hot milk. Imagine sweet frothy eggnog that kind of tastes like meringue that is followed by a very boozy warm liquid. Jeannie may have described it best, “Initially you are attacked by a marshmallow, and then you are hit in the face with spicy liquor.” It may take some getting used to for some—the boozy part is really boozy—but on a cold winter evening the warm booze with sweet batter that is filled with all the flavors of the holiday season really hits the spot. Taking a break from the hectic running around that we all do before the holidays to enjoy a traditional Christmastime beverage with friends seems to be a holiday tradition I could get used to.
Happy Cocktailing and Happy Holidays! Salute!