I am not typically a cocktail person. That all changed during our honeymoon to Italy. I fell in love with two cocktails: the Aperol spritz and the Negroni. They are both incredibly refreshing for a hot evening on a patio. Now every time I have one, it magically transports me back to an evening in Florence.
Both are super easy to make and don’t require a cocktail shaker or any special equipment. As an added bonus, both cocktails could be made in a large batch in a pitcher for a party instead of making everyone an individual cocktail to order. I would highly recommend making them for a get-together as something different from the usual wine and beer. Even though they are both dead easy to make, they make an evening at home on the patio feel special.
If you’ve never had either of these drinks, an Aperol Spritz is a slightly sweet but also slightly bitter. The Aperol provides an orange and rhubarb flavour layered on top of the crisp Prosecco. Best of all, it is fizzy and bubbly thanks to the Prosecco and soda water. Definitely a crowd pleaser and easy to drink!
A Negroni on the other hand is a stronger tasting cocktail. It is quite bitter with lots of botanical notes, but has just the right amount of sweetness from the orange and vermouth. This drink is classically served as an aperitif but makes for a great sipping drink after a big meal as well.
Here is how we make them:
- 3 parts Prosecco
- 2 parts Aperol
- 1 part Soda Water/Club Soda
- Orange slice or wedge
In a big wine glass with lots of ice add 3 parts Prosecco, 2 parts Aperol, and 1 part club soda. Stir until mixed and cold. Add an orange slice or wedge.
Feel free to adjust the amounts to customize! For instance, those who don’t love a bitter drink, try adding even more Prosecco and less Aperol.
- Gin – 1 oz
- Campari – 1 oz
- Sweet red vermouth – 1 oz
- Orange peel/wedge
In a rocks glass with ice add 1 part Campari, 1 part Gin, and 1 part sweet vermouth. Next, stir until properly diluted and cold (stir until the glass gets cold and the drink loses the alcohol smell). Add orange peel or wedge.
Again, feel free to customize. For instance, to make these guys a bit less strong, my sister has suggested taking a note from the Aperol spritz above and adding some soda water. She also squeezes her orange wedge into her drink to add an extra bit of orange flavour.
Do you have a favourite summer cocktail? Is there a particular drink that takes you back to a specific time and place? I’d love to hear your stories!