One of the most popular pre-dinner cocktails in Italy is the Aperol Spritz, using its namesake bright-orange bittersweet aperitivo. This cocktail does the Spritz one better by creating a complex, balanced yet still light and refreshing drink.
The original recipe calls for brut champagne. Spirits columnist Jason WIlson says it works equally well with a brut prosecco, provided it's one of high quality: namely one from the DOCG of Conegliano-Valdobbiadene.
- 1 ounce Aperol
- 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon egg white, pasteurized if desired (see NOTE)
- 2 ounces chilled prosecco
- 1 wide strip of orange peel, for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the Aperol, lemon juice, agave nectar and egg white. Shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds, until well chilled. Pour the prosecco into a small or medium wineglass, then strain the contents of the shaker into the glass. Pinch or twist the orange peel to release its oils, then drop it into the drink as a garnish.
*NOTE: Scientists estimate that 1 in 10,000 fresh eggs contains Salmonella bacteria. For that reason, the U.S. Department of Agriculture does not recommend eating eggs that are raw or undercooked. Pasteurized eggs, which have been processed to eliminate bacteria, are available at some Harris Teeter and Safeway stores.
Adapted from "The Bubbly Bar," by Maria C. Hunt (Clarkson Potter, 2009).
Tested by Michael Taylor.
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