For years, I couldn’t stand most bitter foods: broccoli, radicchio, black coffee – no thanks.
But I think the key to appreciating bitters is all about the balance. So that’s probably why my first adult cocktail was the gin & tonic; a perfect equilibrium between fragrant slightly bitter gin, bittersweet tonic and tangy lime.
And though straight Campari still can set my teeth on edge, I appreciated it for the first time when I tasted the Quo Vadis Apertivo, a mix of Campari, tangerine juice, lemon and champagne that Paul Mant mixed up late one night (actually early one morning) at the venerable Soho bar.
It was a different story — love that first night — when I discovered Aperol, Campari’s fruity orange cousin. I was still in it’s thrall when I visited Bourbon & Branch in San Francisco; so Joel Baker and I created this Aperol and champagne cocktail I dubbed the Aperol Flip. I know classic flips include the egg yolk along with the white, but it’s just a name.
It’s one of the drinks in my new book The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion being released by Clarkson Potter on Aug. 25 and my offering for Mixology Monday on amaros hosted by Chuck Taggart of the Gumbo Pages this week.
Makes 1 cocktail
1 ounce Aperol
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 ounce agave nectar
1/2 ounce pasteurized egg white
2 ounces brut champagne
wide swath orange zest, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the Aperol, lemon juice, agave nectar and egg white. Shake until well-chilled. Pour the champagne into a smallish martini glass. using a strainer, pour the Aperol mixture into the glass. Pinch the orange zest over the glass to release its oils, then carefully lay it atop the foam.
From The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion by Maria C. Hunt (Clarkson Potter, 2009)
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