Winter Aperol Spritz

Aperol Spritz is really as simple as 1,2,3 (1 part soda, 2 parts Aperol & 3 parts prosecco. To make it even more impressive and ready for the chillier times, I have given it my winter twist.

I have an unhealthy love for red wine and coffee. I am certain I'll be buried with a French press in one hand and a bottle of Claret in the other. There really wasn't any more room in my life for another beverage devotion. Until I met Aperol. Things then changed. I now have to deal with a drinks related love triangle in my life.

 

I was lucky enough to be invited to an Aperol Masterclass last week at The Cocktail Trading Company in Soho, London. I must admit that I thought I was pretty damn good at making an Aperol Spritz. It's not hard. Really. 1,2,3 (1 part soda, 2 parts Aperol & 3 parts prosecco). Don't be put off by the bright orange, it is delicious. A lovely bittersweet flavour with a nice warming hit. And as you can see from the recipe below, not just for the balmy summertime.

However, our mixologist was incredible. I really hadn't given mixologists in the past enough credit. They are like behind the bar chefs. He taught us all about taste, how our brains work when drinking and tasting and secret flavour combinations which barmen keep up their sleeves to tackle even the most discerning of taste buds.

Aperol was created in 1919 as Campari's mellow little brother. Lower in alcohol (11%) the orange flavour is not nearly as harsh. Combining Aperol with prosecco is like a little bit of boozy alchemy. The sweet and sour aromatic compounds of the Aperol mix with the sweet carbonation of the prosecco to create a citrusy, light and refreshing drink.

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Refreshing for summer and also perfect for winter. The orange lends itself to being the perfect bedfellow for all those warming winter spices - nutmeg, cinnamon, star anise and clove. As we move into winter my drinks love triangle, just got pimped. 

Sadly I had to leave the masterclass early, but went home and created this little recipe below. Zesty, warm and the most stunning rosy colour, this cocktail slips down rather too easily...!

Winter Aperol Spritz or "Rosy Cheeks"

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Makes 2

200ml port

1 cinnamon stick

1 star anise

4 cloves

3 tblsp sugar

A thumb size piece of orange peel

Slices of orange to serve

A bottle of prosecco

Ice

2 large wine glasses

1) Put the port, spices, sugar and orange peel into a pan and bring to the boil.

2) Reduce the heat so the liquid is simmering. Reduce until you have a thick porty syrup. Remove from the heat to cool. To cool quickly, put the pan in a sink of cold water.

3) The serve: Fill a large wine glass with ice to the top. Add 50 ml of the port syrup to the glass. Then add 50ml Aperol. Top the glass up with approx 100ml prosecco (or just do it by eye) and stir. Top up with ice if needed.

You can make a batch of the port syrup, it will last up to 6 months if kept in an air tight bottle.

If you wanted to just make a delicious and regular Aperol Spritz click here to watch a rather entertaining way of doing it!

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