One glorious June evening in Lugano around 6PM, just after a long day working on my brother’s new restaurant in Lugano: Etnic Café, that I am designing; I was finally having some relaxing time lounging in Jonathan’s manicured garden chatting with his wife Daniela, when suddenly Jonathan announces that he has prepared an “Apero”, which stands for “Cocktail time” in Switzerland, with delicious local nibbles, such as cold cuts and cheeses, and pre-dinner drinks.
Low and behold, here comes this bright orange drink (quite fluffy looking, if you ask me) served in large wine glass with plenty of ice and an orange wedge.
“Did you ever try an Aperol Spritz?” he asked.
Well “Hot tamales”, I never even heard of an Aperol Spritz!
This is from someone who’s got more mileage than a 1934 Bugatti and who opened and owned more than 8 restaurant & bars in the US alone!!!
Well, ladies and gentlemen, it was like trying Nutella for the first time; “I think I just found my perfect summer drink!”.
Growing up in the Italian part of Switzerland, I knew Aperol as one of those Italian digestives like: Campari, Fernet-Branca or Negroni that I never quite took a liking too; too bitter for my taste. Probably due to the fact that It’s made with bitter orange, gentian, rhubarb and cinchona.
However, the combination of Aperol, Prosecco and soda water is genius! It’s sweet and bubbly with a slight bitter after taste and it’s extremely refreshing and light on the alcohol (…and sneakers too, I presume).
It’s the kind of drink you can order over and over without getting past “tipsy”, which comes handy when you have an early start!
Coming from someone who can’t drink 1 glass of wine during the day without passing out on the nearest curb, this drink is perfect for summers, especially when you are “pressured” by all your mates at the beach into drinking at lunch, through the afternoon and into the night!
Turns out the Aperol Spritz is one of the most popular summer drinks in Europe and to my delight, readily available in many high-end restaurants in LA (where I live)…who knew!!!
Since then, I can’t get to that bar fast enough to order my Spritz; and if they don’t have it…I’m “spritzing” autta there!!!