Suzi's Blog

The Italians Are Coming: Aperol to the Beverage Rescue

It’s a dinner party for Suzen and me tomorrow. Small in number but wide in flavor interests.

We have four guests coming and there will be a fresh corn salsa that all will enjoy. After that, it can be challenging. The four people have quite different beverage likes and dislikes. How can you easily meet the beverage needs of good friends you want to please? It’s pretty simple. Have on hand a couple of base liquors and some juices. With a half dozen things, you can easily prepare a wide range of cocktails. You can dazzle without breaking a sweat.

In honor of my Italian friend, I’m using Aperol as one of the alcoholic drivers.

First, here’s the ingredients list:

  • Vodka, chilled of course
  • Aperol, chilled
  • Proseco
  • Orange juice
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Fresh limes slices and orange slices

And here’s the collection of cocktails I be ready to offer my guests:

For the Vodka Drinker:

He gets his glass straight up with ice cubes and a slice of lime.


For the Pure Aperol Lover: Aperol on the Rocks

Just pour Aperol over ice and garnish with a slice of orange.


For the Orange and Aperol Lover: Aperol Orange

1 part Aperol and 3 parts orange juice, over ice and garnished with an orange slice.


For the Aperol and Vodka types: Aperol Vodka

2 parts Aperol to 1 part Vodka, over ice, mixed, garnished with a lime slice.


For the Aperol Juice Freak: Aperol Citrus

2 parts Aperol, 1 part orange juice, 1 part grapefruit juice, shaken and poured over ice.


For the lover of Sparkling Wine: Aperol Spritz

3 parts Aperol to 2 parts Proseco.


There you are. Six beverages, including simple vodka on the rocks. Some people are very particular about their cocktails. Others folks are more flexible or more curious or just downright inventive.

With these ingredients, there is hard core alcohol available in the vodka, sour from the Aperol, sweetness from juice, and tiny bubbles, tiny bubbles from the Proseco. It is not a hard setup to arrange, and it will make our guests feel their individual needs are appreciated.

I’ll have everything on ice on the countertop. People can mix and match to their own delight. I won’t mind if someone just puts Proseco and orange juice together. [There is a reason some beverages are considered classic.]


Source: and Brian O’Rourke

Brian’s Apricot Paradise


apricot puree in proseco

Apricots. It’s been a wet and cold spring, but the first apricots have arrived. Small, yet intense in flavor, they provide the mixologist true opportunity. Instead of a peaches and Bellinis, here’s a way to use those early apricots and create a wonderful cocktail.

Unlike most of my creations, this is NOT too sweet. And, I used grapefruit bitters as well, so there is a definite “sour” undertone to this drink. It’s a great Sunday brunch beverage that will complement smoked salmon and capers.

Apricot Paradise

Yield: 4-6 drinks


  • 6 apricots [enough for 1 ½ cups when sliced]
  • ¼ cup sugar syrup
  • Grapefruit bitters
  • Proseco


Peel and slice the apricot. Put them in a blender along with sugar syrup. Process until very smooth. Refrigerate for at least one hour before using.

In champagne flute, put 2-3 tablespoons of the apricot puree in the bottom. Add ¼ teaspoon of grapefruit bitters. Slowly top off the flute with Proseco. Enjoy and refill as needed.

Source: Brian O’Rourke