Orange October Aperol Cocktails (Go Giants!)

Oct 30, 2014 Update: the Giants did it again and are World Series Champs for the third time in five years!  Let’s toast our World Champions with some #OrangeOctober cocktails!

The City caught a serious case of Giants Fever over the weekend. A lot of people were decked out in black and orange to support the home team (and maybe for Halloween). In honor of the newly crowned 2012 World Champion Giants, this post is dedicated to Orange October Cocktails featuring Aperol, one of our favorite aperitivos from Italy. Aperol is sweeter than Campari, but it still does have a bitter taste. Note that we made these drinks with our “pantry” bar, so substitutions from the original recipes are noted.

This first drink, South Slope, was created by Michael Madrusan while he was living in the Brooklyn neighborhood. The recipe is available in Jim Meehan’s excellent The PDT Cocktail Book: The Complete Bartender’s Guide from the Celebrated Speakeasy.

The basic ingredients are Gin, Aperol, Lillet, Orange Liqueur and lemon juice. The South Slope is one of the sweeter drinks in this post, but the slight bitterness of the Aperol is very present:

South Slope
3/4 oz. Beefeater Gin
3/4 oz. Aperol
3/4 oz. Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz. Orange Liqueur (we used Gran Gala but the original recipe calls for Marie Brizard Curaçao)
1/2 oz. Lemon Juice (we used Meyer lemon juice)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

This next drink is what initially got us hooked on Aperol during a trip to Munich several years back. The Aperol Spritz is a great aperitivo and very refreshing. Generally made with Prosecco and soda water, we prefer to use a bubbly that is more dry since the Aperol does provide the sweetness. We usually leave out the soda since we don’t like to water down our drinks, but the classic recipe is included below.

Aperol Spritz
3 oz. Sparkling Wine
2 oz. Aperol
1 oz. Soda Water

Pour the bubbly and Aperol into a wine glass then top with soda water. Add ice and garnish with an orange slice.

Now that a bottle of bubbly is open, the natural progression is to make the May Day cocktail, also included in the PDT Cocktail book. Created by Jane Danger, it’s named after May 1, “when you kick back and start enjoying the summer,” and not the distress call for help. San Francisco had another Indian summer appearance over the weekend, so in our case, we drank this while kicking back and watching the Giants kick some Tiger butt. The basic ingredients are Gin, Aperol, bitters, lemon juice and sparkling wine:

May Day
1/2 oz. Gin (we use Beefeater but the original called for Plymouth Gin)
1/2 oz. Aperol
1/2 oz. Lemon Juice (we used Meyer lemon juice)
1 Barspoon simple syrup
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitter
2 oz. Sparkling Wine

Stir the first 5 ingredients together with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Top with the sparkling wine. No garnish.

This last cocktail is a localization of the Paper Plane, created by Sam Ross of New York’s Little Branch. Cyrus Noble is a San Francisco owned bourbon, so we thought it was the appropriate whiskey to honor our Giants. The original also calls for Amaro Nonino, but our bar currently stocks only CioCiaro, Montenegro and Ramazzotti Amaros. We tried versions with all 3 Amaros and determined that CioCiaro was the best of the 3 for this drink (so ignore the Montenegro in the picture):

SF Paper Plane
3/4 oz. Cyrus Noble bourbon
3/4 oz. Aperol
3/4 oz. Amaro
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice (we used meyer lemons)

Congratulations to the SF Giants for another World Series Win. Twice in 3 years, after none in 52, they truly are World Champions.

Related Posts
Aperol Arch Angel
A Negroni Variation

View all BarFlySF Cocktail Recipe Posts


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