I just spent a week learning all about selecting, tasting and cooking with the best olive oils from the southern Italian region Puglia with the The Awaiting Table Cookery School. Most of the my fellow students came from Denver, led by chef and restaurateur Shelly Steinhaus of Bella Bistro. The class took place at a the Bacile castle in a little town and each evening we gathered in the large kitchen to prepare dinner as a group.
One evening Tim, came to the kitchen with a bottle of Aperol, one of my favorite Italian liqueurs. Aperol has a pleasant bittersweet orange flavor with hints of herbs; it’s part of a vast category of liqueurs called amaros or bitters. Sometimes they’re sipped after dinner to settle the stomach, but they’re often used as aperitifs to help stimulate the appetite.
Tim and Shelly were served this sparkling bittersweet cocktail called the Aperol Fizz when they checked into their hotel in Naples and wanted to share it with the rest of us. I couldn’t have been more pleased. It’s similar to the popular Italian drink called the Aperol Spritz or Sprizz which is made with club soda, but I like the extra bittersweet tang from the tonic water.
Makes 1 cocktail
2.5 ounces Aperol
2 ounces prosecco
splash tonic water
In a rocks glass with a few ice cubes, add the Aperol. Top with the prosecco and finish with a splash of tonic water.