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 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!)

  • Prosecco, chilled
  • Aperol
  • Freshly squeezed orange juice

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.


21 comments to “The 2009 Drink of Summer”

  1. Dawn in CA says:

    April 22nd, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Mommy likes. ;)

  2. Easy, breezy. This is the one.

  3. do you have any non-alcoholic ones please?

  4. I’ve never heard of Aperol before–I wonder where you’d find it. I do love the combo of Prosecco and limoncello (another delicious Italian import).

  5. Perfect for this warm weekend we will (hopefully) get this weekend.

  6. yes, Whitney! Warm it will be. I’m totally in summer mode, even though I have no reason to believe it is here.

    Kasey: Aperol might be surprisingly easy to find. It is like Campari (I think they are even produced by the same company) and stocked in many liquor stores. You won’t have a problem finding it in San Francisco!

  7. Whoa. You have no idea how often we already drink this already! Except with campari instead of aperol…which you can’t get here…grr.

    LOVE THIS POST!!! It just snowed…so the spritz is on hold….

  8. I’ve never heard of aperol, but this drink looks so refreshing. Thanks for sharing!

  9. How fun! But, us Seattleites can’t even begin to think about SPRING yet. We had a 3 day Spring (yes, it is almost May), and now we are back to Winter. I will bookmark this and look at it again in July when Seattle gets sunny again:)

  10. For any of you curious about Aperol, check out this article I just found:

  11. Hey Tim! Great idea. Funny thing – Emeril just mentioned this drink on Twitter (that is – if it’s really him!). I simply dismissed it, because I had no idea what he was talking about! But now, with your lovely photos, I might just go for it when the budget allows! Sounds like a wonderful summer drink.

  12. I’ve never seen ice cubes that turn me on before.

  13. Heather: Worth noting that Trader Joe’s has prosecco for like $6 and it isn’t bad at all! In fact, I like it. I know not everyone has access to a Trader Joe, but for those of us who do….

    Curt: Ah! I totally know what you mean.

  14. Oh yum!

    If only I could have cocktail hour while chained to my desk.

  15. Yummy, aperol is such a great and fresh summer drink. Thanks for reminding me of it. Will buy some next week and pretend it’s summer, even if it’s freezing right now.


  16. Oh how I wish I could concoct this today! It’s 90+ degrees in the nation’s capital and no A.C. yet!! Seeing your gorgeous pictures actually made me feel cooler — thanks!!

  17. Club specials are always my go to summer cocktail but this is going to get a try…would be great while watching the tornadoes roll through here in Oklahoma, must visit the liqour store today, thanks!!!!

  18. Valentina says:

    April 28th, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Im so glad u published this! This is a typical italian drink, it is called “Spritz” in italian. it is most popular in the north east, around Venice, where we drink it everyday before dinner. Im italian and this is the taste of my university years in Padua (u dont get drunk with it, its way too nice, but it is a philosophy, a tradition, u meet a lot of people. check “piazza delle erbe” in Padua u’ll see!) Your cocktail looks a bit too pale, instead of squeezing the orange juice, try to cut a thick slice, squeeze it and then splash it in. We drink it without ice, but for making it less strong, sometimes we put less prosecco and some mineral water-with gas. You can also use Campari, i like it better cos it is bitter and taste stronger.

  19. Try Aperol with some orange, grapefruit or passionfruit juice instead of or additional to Prosecco… One of our favorite aperitifs ;)

  20. Thanks for such a nice recipe. I just made this drink using blood orange juice. What a pretty color! My husband wanted more alcohol so I added some Tito’s handmade vodka (here in Austin, that’s the only vodka to use) and it became some sort of a screw-mosa. He named it ‘the Dexter’.

  21. Made this yesterday for an Italian-themed summer buffet on a very hot DC day and it was a big hit. Delicious!

What do you think?