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.