While in Italy two weeks ago, I discovered the pleasures of Aperol and soda several times before dinner. Now, I wasn’t familiar with Aperol. I had savored a few Campari and sodas over the years, but not Aperol. Think of it as Campari’s less popular, but just as pretty cousin.

Aperol is typically served as an aperitif (aperitivo in Italian) with a sassy bitter-sweet taste combo. It derives its taste from a unique blend of roots and herbs. Distributed across the globe, its largest markets are Italy (no surprise), Germany, and Austria.

Bring an Italian flavor to your cocktail hour with these Aperol recipes. Salute!

AperolClassic Aperol Spritz—recipe from the Grupo Campari Co.
In a highball or wine glass, add a handful of ice cubes and slice of orange. Pour into the glass—3 parts Prosecco (or another dry sparkling wine), 2 parts Aperol, and a splash of soda. Since I’ve been home, I skip the last part. Why water this down?

Sweet Olive—recipe from Franny’s Brooklyn Pizzeria—printed from the Wall St. Journal, 9/21/13
Pour 1 oz. Meletti amaro, 1/4 oz. Aperol, and a dash of olive juice into a flute. Top with dry Prosecco. Garnish with a small Castelvetrano olive or 3 small cocktail olives and an orange wedge.

Nomayo—recipe from the St. Germain liqueur cocktail book
Combine the following in a cocktail shaker—1 1/2 parts gin or vodka, 3/4 part St. Germain (I wrote about St. Germain earlier this year), 1/2 part Aperol, and 1/2 part fresh lemon juice. Top off with some Champagne. Add ice and shake. Strain into a chilled coupe. Finish with a splash of Champagne and a twist of orange peel.