As a consolation for spending too much money paying bills, I ordered a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 15 years last week. I firmly intended on buying nothing else, but got tempted by a bottle of Aperol, which has become a very popular cocktail ingredient. Both arrived yesterday but remained in their box. Tonight was another story, however: After a harrowing few days with hardly any sleep, a big deadline met, a successful meeting with the PR and marketing teams for Culinary Careers, I decided to reward myself with a cocktail (and a nap). I wanted to make a Negroni, because I spent time researching and writing about that and a couple of other Italian cocktails just yesterday and had a craving, but was out of Campari. Since it belongs to the same family of bitter Italian liquors, I decided to use Aperol instead. The result was a more mellow drink–Aperol only contains 11% alcohol, versus more than 20% for Campari–and a slightly sweeter one. Regardless, this variation is one that I will continue to make because it is delicious and perfectly hit the spot. You can shake the ingredients and serve them in a chilled glass if you prefer. Opening three bottles took all the energy I had left so I wasn’t about to go the extra mile, but I enjoy strained negronis in martini glasses, for example.
Aperol Negroni1 fl. ounce Plymouth gin 1 fl. ounce Aperol 1 fl. ounce Carpano “Antica Formula” Red Vermouth
Place two ice cubes in an old-fashioned glass. Pour the gin, Aperol, and vermouth over the ice and shake the glass slightly to mix. Sip, relax, and repeat.