What’s an Aperol Spritz? It’s Your New Favorite Drink!

Recently, I was in Europe at an evening party with my husband. The alcohol was freely flowing, but I didn’t want to get buzzed because there were a number of people I wanted to speak with. So I asked the bartender if he could make me something “light.” He took one look at my jacket (which was orange, red, black and yellow) and brought me a red-orange drink in a pretty stemmed glass, which he called an Aperol Spritz.

Little did I know it’s the trendiest drink in Europe. (And soon-to-be in the U.S. too, is my prediction.)

Aperol is a citrusy bitter liqueur that has been popular in Italy since the 1950s, but this summer its popularity seems to have spread like wildfire. Literally every person I stopped to speak with at the party said, “That’s an Aperol Spritz!” and seemed dumbfounded when I admitted I had never heard of it before.

The attention-grabbing orange liqueur is combined with either white wine or prosecco or champagne, and topped off with a splash of tonic water or club soda. Customizable to your own taste!

Now that I’m back in the U.S. (and asking friends about my new favorite drink) I’m finding out that an Aperol Spritz almost as popular in California and New York as it is in Europe. I understand someone has even created a frozen version, like a slushie!

According to a recent article in the New York Times, the spike in Aperol consumption is in line with a rising demand in the U.S. for herbal bitter liqueurs. Traditionally, these bitters have been produced in Europe, but now, American-made versions are taking off in popularity.

So… give this orange-y bubbly low-alcohol drink a try. It’s very refreshing on a hot summer day, and it just might become your new favorite drink! It's definitely mine.


On The Road Again To… Prague!

Prague is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever visited (and readers of this blog know I’ve traveled a lot)! History has it Prague was spared from bombing during World War II because it is so spectacular.

Prague’s Old Town Square is one of several highlights… 

Here's the Church of Our Lady before Tyn with its spectacular twin spires...

There's beautiful architecture, everywhere you look…

And below is Prague’s famous medieval astronomical clock. It was designed by clockmaster Jan Růže (also called Hanuš) around 1490. My tour guide recounted the story that the astronomical clock was such an impressive and beautiful piece of work that the Prague City Council was so jealous Hanuš was getting offers from other European cities to create similar clocks that the Council kidnapped Hanuš and gouged out his eyes so that he couldn’t create another masterpiece!! However, Hanuš – now blind and knowing his career was over – got his revenge by climbing to the top of the clock tower and throwing himself into the gears, killing himself but disabling the clock for more than 100 years!  (The clock IS beautiful... at certain times of day, little carved figures come out and parade around to mark the hour.)

The other major site in Prague is the Charles Bridge, named after King Charles IV who founded Prague (modeling it after Paris).  The Charles Bridge is pedestrian-only (since it was built in the 1300’s) and statues of saints and apostles line the bridge…

Statue of King Charles IV at the entrance to the Charles Bridge

You can see the statues of saints and apostles lining the bridge (above)…
There are quite a few bridges that cross the Vltava river.  This shot (below) actually DOES remind me of Paris!

Catholics believe the Infant of Prague (a statue located in the Church of Our Lady Victorious, said to originally been owned by St. Theresa of Avila) can grant miracles.  We all know someone who needs a miracle, so I stopped to say a prayer…

Remember I said King Charles modeled Prague after Paris? It seems tourists who come here are trying to make it more like Paris by “locking” their love to a railing near the Vltava river, then throwing the key into the water so that love lasts forever (i.e. it can’t be unlocked)…

I leave you with this spectacular picture of Prague at night…

Prague should definitely be on everyone’s bucket list! It is a beautiful city.  I'll have pictures of Warsaw next month!


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