Last summer France’s St. Germain was all the rage, but this summer the refreshing elderflower-flavored liqueur is taking a back seat to Aperol — an Italian aperitif that was created in 1919 and is currently making a huge comeback with mixologists. The bright orange aperitif is extremely refreshing, slightly bitter with fruity notes that aren’t overpoweringly sweet, making it perfect for summer sipping.
The Aperol Spritz is the most common cocktail made with Aperol and consists of only three simple ingredients: Aperol, Prosecco, and a splash of soda water. However, with the weather warming up and the aperitif’s resurgence there are plenty of Charlotte watering holes putting their own spin on the iconic drink with some pretty impressive concoctions as the result. Here’s where to find an Aperol sippers around town:
Vivace — The popular Metropolitan restaurant Vivace serves up the Banks of the Bacchiglione using local Muddy River Distillery’s popular spiced rum, Aperol, lime, grapefruit, and muddle raspberries.
Merchant & Trade — The Rosa at Merchant & Trade is a fan favorite with a mixure of El Jimador Blanco, Aperol, Domaine de Canton, and raspberry syrup.
Dot Dot Dot — The speakeasy’s Boulevardier of Broken Dreams features Rittenhouse Rye, Aperol, sweet vermouth, and Zucca Rabarbaro that’s barrel Aged for two months. On Sunday’s they offer a special cocktail menu, the Kings List, that includes an Aperol Spritz for $8.
Good Food on Montford — Sometimes the simpler the better — and Good Food goes the classic route with an Aperol Spritz using only three ingredients — Aperol, soda and prosecco.
STOKE — Rise + Shine is like drinking sunshine in a glass with a plethora of refreshing ingredients including gin, grapefruit, yellow chartreuse, St. Elderflower, Aperol, citrus shrub.
Stagioni — Stop by Stagioni for their Blanche cocktail, which is made with Aperol, Cardinal Gen, fresh lemon juice, Cointreau, ginger beer, and egg white.
Soul Gastrolounge — Made from Bulleit Bourbon, Aperol, Ardbeg 10 year-old Scotch, NC hay tea, lemon, angostura, and torched hay – Soul Gastrolounge’s Barn Fire cocktail is a force to be reckoned with.
Fahrenheit — Fahrenheit’s ode to Aperol, the Marla Singer, is ….made from Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, Aperol, prickly pear syrup, and prosecco.
In case you really want to show off during your next summer party and want make your own Aperol cocktails, here are six recipes to use that are sure to be a big hit.
Amy Trainum is a freelance writer who resides in Charlotte, but travels as much as she can. Follow her travels at SouthernDeparture.