Seeing as my love for bitters is legendary (I’ve been known to add them to everything I consume, even cereal) I have been remiss on mentioning the “newest” bitters to hit the U.S. market as of late: Aperol.
I say “newest” bitters because, although Aperol has only been in the U.S. for a year, it has been in Italy since 1919. When one tastes Aperol, one is immediately reminded of Campari, albeit a less bitter, more orange-y, Campari. Campari Light, if you will. As such, Aperol can be subbed in for Campari in most cocktail recipes, making the resulting libation all the more approachable for those uninitiated in the ways of bitters.
As Aperol is based out of Padua, which is also the city where much of the action in Bill Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew takes place, I’ve decided to name my first Aperol creation after the main male character in the play: Petruchio. I figured that if he was able to tame Kate, then this concoction would be able to tame the bitter enough for the average neophyte to enjoy.
1 oz gin
1 oz Aperol
½ oz lemon juice
dash of simple syrup
2 dashes Fee’s orange bitters
1 egg white
place all ingredients in a tin and frappe
add ice and shake until your arms hurt
strain into a chilled cocktail glass
While I know there may be a million variations of this drink out there, Aperol is fairly new to Seattle, and therefore this recipe unique to this neck of the woods. This was one of those recipes that, upon my tasting of Aperol, came screaming to me in a moment of clarity. The Petruchio remained unchanged from the moment the idea for the ingredients came in to my head, to the moment that I tasted it. It is very rare indeed for me to leave a recipe untouched after the first attempt, but the Petruchio Cocktail hit the nail on the head, and as such, I didn’t feel it necessary to mess around with proportions.
If you’re wondering about the simple syrup, it is added not for sweetness, but for body. Every now and then, I come across a recipe that tastes great, but feels a little thin in the mouth. The solution, I’ve found, is to add just a small dash of 2:1 simple syrup, and the result is a cocktail with more viscosity and mouth-feel. Give it a try the next time you come across a thin, yet tasty libation.
Drink and pictures by: