… from the Friday Happy Hour Bar
How you doin’? A couple of years ago we were asked to develop a line of shrubs for one of the A-lister actors in Hollywood (we are not allowed to mention his name, but he is a biggie). A shrub is a sweet and sour syrup made by infusing fruit, sugar and vinegar, kind of a soft kombucha. The shrub is made with fruits, like berries, sweet vinegars and red wine that are left to ferment, which is then used as a mixer.
As we were developing these beverages for our client, we made a few cocktails with kombucha with touches of different liquors. We found Aperol to be a great foil for the kombucha. The bitter-sweet citrus notes from the Aperol plays very nicely with tangy kombucha
What is Aperol? Aperol is an Italian bitter-sweet liqueur made of gentian, rhubarb and cinchona, among other ingredients. It has a vibrant orange hue. Its name comes from the French slang word for aperitif, which is apero.
Aperol was originally produced by the Barbieri company, based in Padua, but is now produced by the Campari Group. While Aperol was originally created in 1919, by Luigi and Silvio Barbieri, it did not become successful until after World War II. Although it tastes and smells much like Campari, Aperol has an alcohol content of 11%—less than half that of Campari. Aperol and Campari have the same sugar content and Aperol is less bitter in taste.
1-1/2 ounces red wine (I prefer Chianti, but any dry red wine is okay)
3/4 ounce Aperol
2 ounces cherry (or other) kombucha
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
Garnish: lemon slice
ChefSecret: Another great drink using Aperol, is an Aperol Spritz which, during these difficult times, gives the illusion that you are in Italy during summer looking at a golden orange sunset with a view of the Italian Riviera instead of overlooking your overgrown and sometimes snowy front yard. The generally accepted ratio is equal parts Aperol and Prosecco plus a splash of club soda. Or play around with the ratio until your Aperol Spritz tastes exactly the way you want it. Garnish with a slice of fresh orange.
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: “Do you find yourself craving a little more chocolate during the pandemic. It has nothing to do with symptoms of Covid-19. It’s just God’s way of telling you he likes us a bit on the chubby side.”
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