The New York Times has officially declared it THE drink of the summer. You see it all over influencers’ Instagram feeds. You’ve probably spied the bright orange hue at your favorite bar. And you may have actually discovered it here as our post about this cocktail has been our most popular in the last three years. If you don’t already know about the Aperol Spritz, you should, which is why I’m sharing the recipe for you all again today.
I actually feel in love with the Spritz on my honeymoon in Venice, Italy – the home of the Spritz’s invention. It’s the perfect light, slightly bitter, incredibly refreshing drink to sit back and enjoy on a hot day. It’s intended to be an aperativo – a drink you enjoy before dinner to help whet your appetite. The Italians have loved it since the 1950’s, but apparently we’re only just catching on. Aperol sales in the US have spiked 48% since last summer. It’s easy to see why. I’d like to think our original post had something to do with it! Continue to scroll for both the (incredibly!) easy recipe and my tips for creating a casual summer gathering.
Step 1: Set the scene. A simple outdoor patio decked with nothing more than a farm table and bench seating is an easy and relaxed way to welcome guests. We were lucky enough that our table happened to be marble-topped – i loved how the white made everything else pop, but any wood table would be just as pretty. A string or two of cafe lights are extra nice touch. You can leave them up pretty much all year ’round. A few simple flower arrangements plucked straight from the garden are also a thoughtful detail.
Step 2: Don’t skimp on your place settings. Everyone always settle for paper plates in the summer but I say f that. Either bust out your good stuff – do people really break plates, I don’t think so – or if you’re really opposed to having to run the dishwasher, grab some of my girls gorgeous Harlow & Gray plates. You can see how I used them for a spring party here.
Step 3: Create a humble feast. For our happy hour we decided to create the charcuterie board of champions. But again the task required little else than a power shopping trip at Trader Joe’s and an epic 3-foot long wood board. Cured meats, crackers, cheese, olives, pickles, fresh berries & figs, dried fruit, nuts and our little trade secret – fresh flowers created a truly stunning display. Piling everything high makes your board so pretty you almost don’t want to dig in and mess it all up. Almost.
Step 4: Serve a signature drink. The true star of our party was our cocktail – the Aperol Spritz! And the best part? They’re super easy to make. No professional mixologist skills needed here. You’re not concocting homemade syrups or adding tinkshers with eye droppers. The recipe is so simple every party guest can whip up one for themselves – yet another way to take some pressure off of you! Don’t worry – we’ve got the recipe for you at the bottom of this post!
But first we have to give you the final step in our happy hour master plan.
Step 5: Sit back, relax and have a grand old time!! There’s nothing better than some quality catch up time with girl friends. Even with today’s overly packed schedules, offering a chance to enjoy a refreshing drink, a few nibbles and some good ole fashioned catch up time is pretty irresistible. We’re quite confident your girls will show up for a gathering like this.
RECIPE: The Aperol Spritz
3 parts prosecco
2 parts Aperol
1 splash of seltzer or sparkling water
1 orange for garnish, sliced
Add a few ice cubes to a wine glass. The Spritz is traditionally served in a stemmed glass, but you can really use anything you have on hand. Pour in your prosecco. Then add your Aperol. Top with a generous splash of seltzer. Give your drink a swirl, garnish with orange slices & an orange peel twist if you like. Betcha can’t enjoy just one!
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For more entertaining ideas, CLICK HERE
photography for apartment 34 by ashley batz