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The 2009 Drink of Summer

I think we found our Drink of Summer. My friend Katie and I like to declare an official drink each year. They’ve ranged from a classic mojito to more complicated concoctions with cucumbers and gin and lots of muddling involved. This classic Italian cocktail combining prosecco and Aperol is leading the pack for summer 2009.  I first made it a couple of weeks ago when my friends from NYC were in town and we all really loved it. I’ve made this twice since then.  Such a pretty color and so delicious, these are equally good at brunch or as an aperitif (or more appropriately an aperitivo) before a summer meal. It went exceptionally well with guacamole [1] and I can imagine enjoying it all summer long.

The cocktail couldn’t simpler, Aperol and freshly squeezed orange juice are added to some chilled prosecco. Done. Aperol is an Italian aperitif that has been around since 1919. It is a beautiful dark orange color and is flavored with things like bitter orange, rhubarb, and herbs. It has a low alcohol content (11%) and  is often served on the rocks with a splash of soda. Prosecco is an Italian sparkling wine that is becoming increasingly popular in the states . Together the two are pretty heavenly. Since you’ll soon have a bottle of Aperol in the house you can spend the summer experimenting with creative uses for it. Let me know what you come up with.

Prosecco and Aperol (thanks, Italy!)

You can use whatever proportions you like, but I did about a tablespoon of Aperol, a tablespoon of orange juice and a generous half  cup of prosecco. I served it on the rocks.