This summer’s new drink is an Aperol Spritz. But the good news is this is one of the easiest alcoholic drinks to fake without losing the taste. We tell you how to make a low or no alcohol version.
I went to Venice last spring. It was gorgeous, I ate a lot of cake and pizza and complained about the coffee because it turns out I know way too much about coffee. One thing I noticed walking down the streets was the profusion of fishbowl-like day-glow orange wine glasses. I wondered what exactly it was they were drinking, and admired the contrast with the blue of the sky. A quick google back at the hotel told me that the mystery drink was Spritz. Aperol Spritz. That evening I confidently ordered one with my dinner and took a sip, delighted to be fitting in with the city and the orange lit evening. And then I almost spat it out. It’s surprisingly bitter.
Little did I know then that not only would Spritz go on to be the drink of the summer, but it would also go on to be my favourite ‘pretend I’m back on holiday’ drink.
One of the many good things about this refreshingly adult (read bitter) drink is that it can actually be pretty low in alcohol. Aperol is about 11%, but you only use 50ml in a glass. So if you top it up with lemonade or soda water instead of the traditional Prosecco that’s about 0.5 units. So for a perfect (end of summer) drink, try this:
Handful of ice
2/3 of a glass /100ml of good quality lemonade or orangade like San Pellegrino
Dash of soda water
Slice of orange to garnish
I quite like the company that makes Campari and Aperol, because they actually make non-alcoholic versions of their products too. Crodino is a non-alcoholic bitter aperitif, produced since 1964. It is an orange colored drink, made of herbal extracts and sugar, and is sold in 10 cl bottles.
One of our members spent her Italian holiday drinking the alcohol-free version – it is hard to spot the difference. It is just a little lighter in colour. A Crodino topped up with soda or lemonade, or on the rocks is a really nice tipple.
Another member went the whole hog and topped it up with an alcohol-free fizz (see the Carl Jung here which is our favourite).
SanBitters (bitters without alcohol) were a really great find when I quit drinking. Not sweet, felt grown up, and signalled a break between day and evening – win win!
San Pellegrino do a SanBitter in Dry (clear in colour) and red (like Campari). They are a great base for a mocktail too, and can be drunk neat on the rocks, or topped up with lemonade or fizzy water. It will fit in your bag when you go to the pub for a ‘take your own’!