It’s now officially patio season — time to get bubbly!
By: Ammar Karam
Over the last couple years, aperitifs have seen a worldwide boom, growing so quickly they’re set to overtake the total alcohol category by 2025! What this means is that there are going to be so many more tasty things for us to spritz up in the future. We’ve all had an Aperol spritz. Now, what if you wanted something different? We’ve got five new aperitifs for those who want to change it up this summer. Add sparkling wine, soda and enjoy. Just don’t forget the 3:2:1 spritz rule: 3 ounces sparkling wine, 2 ounces aperitif and 1 ounce soda. And the ever-important olive.
The original ingredient of the Venetian Spritz! Think of it as a perfect in-between Aperol and Campari. Thirty botanicals flavour this bitter, including rhubarb root and juniper berries. Strong red-fruit and orange presence with a pleasant floral, bittersweet finish that both Prosecco and soda lengthen nicely. Garnish with a large green olive.
Want a new way to express your spritz creativity with Aperol? Add watermelon juice and maybe a healthy splash of tequila (check our previous issue for some tequila recommendations). Not finding any watermelons to juice? Try infusing strawberries into your Aperol — about a 1:3 ratio — to give a nice fruitier twist. No fruit? Substitute rosé sparkling wine for the regular white sparkling. Or do all three for maximum points.
Not all aperitifs have to come from Italy. Despite its name, Amalfi Aperitivo is produced in Toronto and has that nice blood orange body with the perfect top herbal/floral note. There are even small sizes already in spritz form for you! Just pour them over ice, stick on a fat orange slice and enjoy.
This is for the bone-dry white wine drinkers. Fino sherry is a type of fortified wine from Spain, and Tio Pepe is one of the premier producers of the stuff. Dry as English humour, sharp, citrusy and almost briny, a fino sherry spritz will be oh-so-refreshing and oh-so-continental. This one needs a lemon and olive.
The makers of the famous maraschino liqueur are trying their hand at the bittersweet side of things. While Luxardo remains tight-lipped about what it’s in it, all we know is that it’s got a nice, dark citrus backbone with herbal (think rosemary) top notes and spritzes well. Especially with an orange. What more do you need?
Gin is not an aperitif; however, this one is different. Made with Sicilian lemons and distilled in Turin, it’s reminiscent of a beach “vibe.” The botanicals and lemony freshness of this gin are perfectly suited for making a spritz, but we’ll stick to a 3:1:1 rule for this particular spritz.
We’ve heard of dry vermouth and sweet vermouth, but rosé? This is new. This award-winning rosé vermouth packed with floral grapefruit notes is just too good to miss. Add in sparkling wine and soda? Sold, sold, sold. Grapefruit and olive to finish with style.