A Simple Sipper & A Birthday [Prosecco & Campari Aperitif]
There are things happening outside. Right now. Have you stopped to have a look?
A week or two ago, I was saying to Amanda, my best friend, that I was afraid if I didn’t stop to take a deep breath, and a long hard look at Spring, it would be August in a blink. For the first time in years, I’m really trying my best to take all of Spring in. Every earthy, wet smell, every blooming bud, every puddle, every cloud. Every day.
We’ve been lucky enough to have balconies in my past two apartments, the last being much more spacious than the current. I always knew that having a balcony would be valuble as far as apartments go, but I never anticipated how much time I would spend on a 4x6 hunk of wood. It’s my kitchen, my living room, my dining room and my reading room for 5 months of the year. Last Friday, as we sat and felt the sun beat hard on our faces for the first time in 5 months, we rang in the first official balcony meet of the season, the sound of our glasses clinking acting as a starting gun for the race that is summer in Ottawa. A short lived, incredibly hot and humid 4 months that passes just as soon as it shows up.
While food plays a large part in the gatherings we have on our tiny balcony, drinks play a much larger role. It’s where Amanda and I gather on Fridays, pour the drink of choice into a chilly, waiting glass, and recount the weeks frusterations and victories. The place where Sarp, Amanda’s boyfriend, knows he can show up any time and find us, giggling like school girls about the most recent gossip and goings on of our lives, and where Mr GL can come home, crack open a beer and put his feet up knowing I haven’t been sitting, tapping my watch in wait for him to come home. Yes, balcony days are here. And I welcome them with open arms, a deep relieved sigh, and a sip of something ice cold.
In celebration of balcony season, which I do hope you’re all celebrating, I wanted to showcase a classic apertif/cocktail, to sip while you soak in the sun…. or clouds, or wind, or snow, or whatever. So long as it’s enjoyed.
A Spritz, which is typically Prosecco (an Italian sparkling wine), Aperol (an orangey bitter liquer), and a squeeze or garnish of citrus, is the perfect cocktail for those of you, like myself, who can’t take the sickeningly sweet cocktails that are ever so popular these days. Sometimes it feels like your mouth has been washed out with Kool Aid. Not that I have anything against Kool-Aid. I am a big fan, believe you me. But not for my cocktails. I like something refreshing, and light. The bitters, however, are new to me.
I wasn’t able to find Aperol at my liquor store, so I settled on Campari, which is also known to be used in a Spritz. It’s a orangey herbal bitter and is a flavour I was not expecting. The red colour of it lead me to believe it would be fruity and sweet, so when I decided to take a sip of it straight, to see what it tasted like by itself, I experienced the strong, bitter flavour that it’s so well known for. A definite shock that became less intense by the sip. When I had a sip of the Prosecco on it’s own, I felt like it was missing something. As I sit here now, sipping on my second, I’m increasingly surprised at how much I like the bitterness of the Campari mingled with the sweet Prosecco. The squeeze of orange is more of an after thought, but hard to ignore. It seems to bind it all together.
If you’re looking for something new, or want to re-live a classic, mix yourself up a Spritz on the next sunny day. And don’t forget to experience it all fully, be it on a balcony with your best friends, a stoop on your own, or a kitchen table with your family. Whatever your happy place may be, I’d love to hear how you enjoyed your aperitif.
Prosecco & Campari (Spritz)
makes 2 drinks
If you can’t find Prosecco, a dry white wine or any sparkling wine will work well.
If you can find Aperol at your liquor store, try that before the Campari. It’s apparently slightly sweeter.
2 ounces Campari
4 ounces Prosecco
2-4 slices of orange or grapefruit
Add Campari to a lowball/martini glass (I used a martini for me and a lowball for Mr. GL…because martini glasses are sort of effeminate apparently!) and top with Prosecco and a slice or two of orange. Add an ice cube or two.
Enjoy with good friends and family. And maybe a pair of sunglasses.
Before I bid you adieu, I should also mention that my best friend Amanda’s birthday is tomorrow. And because I love her dear, I wanted to wish her the most specialest of birthdays to the world (or at least to the few who read my rambles). She is a hero through and through in my life and one who lets me be whoever I want to be on any given week and she deserves the world over and over. So hi! Amanda! I love you! Happy Birthday!
(this is the only photo of us I can find that we are decent[ish], not yelling and not …. under the influence! I love you!)
Happy weekend to you all!