Aperol liqueur was originally produced by the Barbieri brothers in Padua, Italy in 1919. It is now part of the Campari family, and in fact, has become even more popular than Campari after a very effective media campaign. Aperol is a bright orange liquor made with typical botanicals like bitter orange, gentian, and cinchona, as well as rhubarb. Aperol also has less than half the alcohol of Campari and mixed with prosecco and club soda, and is a very refreshing summertime drink. I have also found that when ordering this drink in a bar, it is always best to ask for an Aperol Spritz, not just a Spritz because Campari mixed with soda is also often called a Spritz.
I tasted my first Aperol spritz over forty years ago on our first trip to Italy while sitting in a piazza bar in Venice. At that time you would see a few Italians order this drink, but you never saw it outside of Italy. Now, however, an Aperol Spritz is popular worldwide in many bars and restaurants. We have introduced many of our family members and friends to this colorful before dinner drink, and it has become our go-to aperitivo.
One of our favorite Italian restaurants in the area is SheWolf in Detroit. We have dined there many times and always have a great experience. We always enjoyed the Aperol Spritz at SheWolf, but it wasn’t until recently that I asked the bartender what was in the drink because it was different and very flavorful. I learned that they infuse the Aperol with berries, then mix it with sparkling rose wine rather than the usually prosecco. They also add a drop of aged balsamic vinegar which mellows the bitterness just a bit. The drink is served on ice in a large glass with fresh berries. The drink is lovely, and I knew I had to replicate it at home. I created my own version of SheWolf’s Aperol Spritz, and served it at our family barbecue to rave reviews and I don’t think I will make it any other way from now on!
Deborah Mele 2019
For The Infusion:
- 1 Bottle Aperol
- 1 Cup Mixed Berries, Fresh or Frozen
To Make The Drink:
- 3 Parts Rose Wine
- 2 Parts Aperol
- 1 Part Club Soda
- Fresh Mixed Berries
- Thin Orange Slices
- Fresh Basil Leaves
- Aged Balsamic Vinegar (Optional)
- Dump the aperol in a pitcher with an airtight lid and add the berries.
- Refrigerate overnight or up to 48 hours.
- Strain the Aperol and return to the original bottle.
- Mix the Aperol with the wine and soda and pour in glasses over ice.
- Garnish each of the glasses with a thin slice of orange, a few fresh berries, and a fresh basil leaf.
- Add one drop of aged balsamic to each glass if using.
- Serve & Enjoy!