ZOMG! I found Aperol. Aperol - the Italian bitter-orange based apertif. It is kind of like Campari, but less bitter. Don't get me wrong, I like bitters. Campari has never really appealed to me, but the first time I had Aperol I was hooked.
Last night I was out with my friend - and fellow 'retired' tour guide - Karoline. We met for happy hour and started talking about cocktails, imported spirits, etc. She mentioned Aperol and reminded me about how delicious it is.
That was just last night. Just 24 hours ago. TONIGHT...on my way home, I stopped by the liquor store for some vodka since I was making pie crust (more on that later). I stopped at the store in the Crown Hill neighborhood of Seattle and they had a great selection of imported liquors. I thought most of this stuff was only available by special order (case minimum), but I guess with the cocktail craze sweeping the city (and country) there is enough demand for it.
I first tried Aperol during a trip to Venice about six years ago. I had been to Venice plenty of times, but was spending a week there, on board a seven-day tour my friend Dave was leading. Dave is/was a splendid tour guide and mentor to me, but also a WSU grad and therefore quite a partier. We spent pretty much every night 'researching' ciccheti bars around the island. Ciccheti are bite-sized appetizers served at little bars all over Venice and that region of NE Italy. The bars serve all kinds of cocktails and wines, but the Aperol Spritz is a specialty of the area.
1 1/2 ounces Aperol
2 ounces Prosecco or other sparkling wine
Splash of soda water
Pour the Aperol and Prosecco into a high-ball glass filled with ice. Top with a splash of soda water.
My favorite part is the odd, yet appealing garnish. A skewer with an orange wedge and a green olive. Most recipes I have been seeing online say to garnish with a lemon peel or an orange wedge, but no one mentions the olive. Don't underestimate the power of a green olive.