I owe you two cocktails. Well, this and one more. I’m struggling a bit because some of the rich, creamy Christmas cocktails no longer sound as good as they did prior to Christmas. Which brings is to the spritz. The idea for a spritz emerged from a book I was reading last week. Set in contemporary Venice, the main character seemed to spend a great deal of time in small cafes and bars drinking spritz. I was intrigued. Now, part of this intrigue is likely due to the fact that we’re going to Italy this spring. I said that so calmly. Inside I’m twirling. And drinking spritz. Two full weeks. Venice, Cinque Terre, Siena, Rome. Bliss.
This week I’m reading a book about Siena (do you sense a theme?). No mention of spritz, yet, but I remain hopeful.
I was further compelled down the spritz path when I was scrolling Pinterest last week and came across a recipe for a Winter Aperol Spritz. The main components of a classic spritz are Aperol or Campari, prosecco and club soda. This recipe added cranberry juice for a holiday twist. I was down with that, though when it came down to mixing it the ingredients were changed a bit as I used what I had on hand/open.
The drink was also concocted in somewhat of a rush (you’re lucky you get any photos of the cocktail) because yesterday we went on a hike that was supposed to be a 7 or so mile leg stretcher and turned into a 9 (or maybe it was 10) mile slog. By the time we got home I was a) thirsty and b) hangry. Thus, as the husband showered I scarfed leftover Christmas cheeseball on Ritz and tossed this spritz together in a hurry.
The result? Tasty. Aperol is a strange liquor. Oh, it’s all the rage right now (it’s that bright orange stuff), particularly in summer. But, it’s profile is sweet bitter citrus. While it may not be my go-to at home, I assure you that there will be many a photo of me in Italy, spritz in hand.
Winter Aperol Spritz
3 oz Aperol
3 oz sparkling wine (normal spritz is with prosecco, but I had a small bottle of sparkling wine in the fridge)
1 oz unsweetened cranberry juice (you could use sweetened, again this is what I had on hand)
Squirt of agave (I tasted it after just adding the above and it was a little too bitter, so I added a bit of agave. Omit if using sweetened cranberry juice)
Generous squeeze of orange
Mix all of the above in a wine glass. Add ice and a chunk of orange, both for looks and additional flavor. Saluti!