I decided against bringing the Beet Mint Pom-pops to the party a couple weekends ago. After enjoying them myself here at the house, I realized how messy they can be – in the wrong hands (or slightly intoxicated ones) it could spell trouble for the homeowner. I could just imagine the host picking up after the party and finding beet juice stains on his carpet – cursing at that damn blogging fellow who brought them.  “That son of a…!”

So I kept it simple, and brought one of my favorite no-frills summer time cocktails – the Aperol-Orange Fizz.

If you liked the simplicity of last week’s cocktail. You’re going to fall head-over-heels with this one. It has only 3 ingredients and doesn’t require any of that arm-twisting muddling business.

The main ingredient is Aperol, a bitter orange and  herbal liquer from Italy. In fact, the first time I came across the stuff was in Italy…while in a small northern town just outside Bormio. The wife and I were out at a cafe for lunch and noticed that everybody – and I mean EVERY BODY – was sipping on this bright orange fizzy drink. I had the waiter bring us a couple for us to try, and let’s just say it must have needed an acquired taste.

But that was just my first experience with Aperol. I’m adventurous and forgiving, so I gave her another shot when this recipe popped up in my GQ magazine. The article was centered around how to throw a dinner party – hassle-free and low-maintenance. Don’t forget that it’s a party – you’re there to talk and hang with friends, not play chef at a private 7-course tasting meal – the article quipped. With that mindset, this is the drink it suggested and I’m telling you, it’s exactly what I expected that Aperol drink in Italy to taste like. Bright, Crisp, and with an edge that makes you ask “What is that!?”

Here’s the recipe without modification, from GQ, because it doesn’t need any.

Aperol-Orange Fizz
Makes: Plenty

  • 1 bottle Aperol
  • 1 quart good orange juice (I go fresh-squeezed with my Juicer)
  • 1 orange, sliced crosswise
  • 2 bottles prosecco

GQ: Mix equal parts Aperol and orange juice. Float orange slices for a nice visual hit. Throw some ice in a large glass, fill halfway with the Aperol mix, and top it off with prosecco. Stir and drink. 

For an outdoor party I whip mine up in big batches – filling a carafe or two with the Aperol and Orange Juice mix. I then sit those down in a hammered metal bucket filled with ice and a twice as many bottles of Prosecco. The bottle of Mionetto shown in the pics works well, but I also haven’t had a bottle of Prosecco that didn’t with this drink.

Sit back on your patio and relax with a glass or two before your friends arrive. When they do show up, fill them each up a glass and toast to summer! Cheers!


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