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I'm in love with Aperol and these are my favorite cocktails

Leeann's first book: "The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook" is available now.
"New York City Homegrown Cookbook" to follow.

Leeann has worked in restaurants and food catering and cooks with passion, using food ingredients from loc...

Aperol cocktails are exactly how I'm going to bliss out this summer

When we dream of summer, our thoughts (more likely than not) flirt with fireworks, parades and fun. And the key ingredient in that fun potion is a drink! Summertime calls out for light, seasonal beverages. Who wouldn't want to sip something cool, refreshing and a little fruity and bubbly? I've been smitten with Aperol, the popular Italian aperitif, ever since being introduced to it at a recent rooftop taste-testing at a pop-up at New York City's Eataly. It's a sensation that feels like the drink is making little pirouettes on your tongue.

The happy, sunshine Aperol color screams summer — adding to why we love drinking the herbal spirit from an enduring, secret Italian recipe, made with bitter orange, gentian, rhubarb and cinchona. I've been mixing up pitchers of Aperol Spritz ever since my first encounter. Aperol is a terrific partner to a variety of fruit juices and other spirits, especially Prosecco.

My easy go-to recipe has been pretty much equal parts sparkling wine and Aperol, orange or orange/mango juice, and vanilla simple syrup, to taste. On a couple of occasions, I added Dolin Dry Vermouth for the luscious botanicals to complement Aperol's herbs.

Garnish with orange slice or "cube," and for an adorable, eye-catching garnish, use a sprig of orange thyme, held on the rim with a teeny, tiny, colored clothespin. Adorable garnish served with a smile.

Here are some of my favorite things to mix up:

Razberry Bianco spritz recipe

Created by Franky Marshall, Le Boudoir.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe raspberries
  • 1-1/2 ounces Aperol
  • 3/4 ounce Cinzano Bianco
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce dry sparkling wine
  • Raspberries and mint, to taste

Directions:

  1. Add raspberries to mixing tin and gently muddle.
  2. Add the rest of ingredients and shake with ice.
  3. Fine strain into a wine glass over fresh ice.
  4. Top with 1 ounce of dry sparkling wine.
  5. Garnish with fresh raspberries and mint.

High garden spritz recipe

Created by Adele Stratton, Noble Experiment.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces Aperol
  • 1 ounce Giffard apricot liqueur
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ounces champagne
  • 2 ounces club soda
  • 3 cucumber slices
  • 2 turns cracked salt

Directions:

  1. Shake and start over a large presentation ice cube or a scoop of Kold-Draft ice.
  2. Top with champagne and club soda.
  3. Garnish with fresh cucumbers.

Pompel-spritz recipe

Created by Pamela Wiznitzer, Seamstress.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 ounces Aperol
  • 1-1/2 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1-1/2 ounces Sparkling Rosé
  • 1/2 ounce tonic water

Directions:

  1. Build in a highball glass and garnish with a grapefruit peel.

Mighty fine spritz recipe

Created by Victoria Canty, Dante and Saxon + Parole.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 ounces Aperol
  • 1/2 ounce Fino Sherry
  • Sparkling water to top
  • Prosecco to top
  • Lemon and orange wheels

Directions:

  1. Build in a wine glass and garnish with lemon and orange wheels.

Saint Bernard spritz recipe

Created by Lucinda Weed, Beverage Consultant, New Orleans.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces Aperol
  • 3 ounces Prosecco
  • 1 ounces La Croix lime sparkling water
  • watermelon ice cubes*

Directions:

  1. Build in a wine glass and enjoy somewhere outdoors!

 *Place watermelon juice in an ice cube tray and freeze for at least 3 hours.

Aloe spritz recipe

Created by Haley Forest, Belle Shoals.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 ounces Aperol
  • 3 ounces Prosecco
  • 3/4 ounce Chareau aloe liqueur
  • Prosecco
  • Soda water to top
  • 1 cucumber slice

Directions:

  1. Build in shaker and shake with ice.
  2. Pour in wine glass over ice and garnish with a cucumber slice.

Aperol peach spritz

Created by Lucinda Sterling, Middle Branch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce Aperol
  • 1/2 ounce peach liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce fresh orange juice
  • Prosecco to top
  • Club soda to top

Directions:

  1. Add ingredients to a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake gently and serve in a rocks glass over ice with Prosecco and a dash of club soda.
Aperol cocktails are exactly how I'm going to bliss out this summer
Image: SheKnows

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