The first time I tasted Aperol, I thought it the “little sister” of Campari. Sweeter for sure, less vigorous herbaceous tones and about half the alcohol content but definitely related. They actually come from the same stable of brands and it’s suggested that anytime you see Campari called for, you can substitute Aperol. Both are technically classified as bitters or an aperitif, which is traditionally served before a meal to take the edge off and maybe signal your belly…food is next!
I’m aware that some aficionados tout the complexity of a Negroni but I’ll tell you, all I can tout is that it’s not for me. A bit too bitter if you will. The Negroni can be an acquired taste that some people will love and others will not. I’ve been told to keep at it, that I will come to love it. I was told the same thing about beer decades ago and I still don’t like it so why would grimace through a taste I don’t enjoy so that I can acquire a fondness? Life is too short for that nonsense!
I love the Aperol Spritz, another Italian favorite and decided that I needed to try these cocktails using Campari’s baby sis. So glad I did; so much more to my liking and I really enjoyed both of them. I had a reader mention recently how terrific the Vya brand of vermouth is so was very lucky to have received some from the owners. Vya Sweet Vermouth is a blend of Tinta Roriz and Orange Muscat, and is hand infused at Quady Winery with a selection of over seventeen herbs and spices. They are worth sourcing in your area; the difference between what I’ve typically purchased and these lovely spirits is remarkable and absolutely worth the effort. For the Aperol Negroni in the photo,l I paired the sweet vermouth with Van Gogh gin and they were a great compliment to each other. The Aperol added a very nice but not at all cloying sweetness. This drink is not only less bitter than a Negroni but the flavor of orange is more present. My friend was most eloquent upon tasting my new concoction; believe he uttered ‘awesome!’ Yes it was!
If you’ve tried a Negroni or an Americano and had any of the same response…give them another shot using Aperol; I’m betting you won’t be disappointed either.
A version of both the Negroni and Americano using Aperol, a slightly sweeter and more intensely orange version of bitters.
- 1 oz Aperol
- 1 oz sweet vermouth (Vya)
- 1 oz gin (Van Gogh)
- orange slice or twist for garnish
- 1 1/2 ounces Aperol
- 1 1/2 ounces sweet vermouth
- Cold club soda
- Slice of orange, lemon, or lime
- Pour the ingredients into an old-fashioned glass with ice cubes.
- Stir well.
- Garnish with the orange slice.
- Pour the Aperol and vermouth over ice in a glass; then fill with club soda.
- Garnish with a slice of orange, lemon, or lime.
I tasted the Vya Vermouth by itself and compared it to the brand that is more common that I'm sure most of us typically purchase. Really try to find the Vya, that's all I can say!