I get inspired quite a bit from eating and drinking while I’m traveling. Case in point – I had a really good Negroni when I was stopped over at the Minneapolis airport last month. It was a super booze-forward drink: I could definitely taste the gin and had to take it very, very slow so as not to be tipsy on my flight. That said, I love the super bitter tones of any drink that has a bitter liqueur in it and Campari is definitely bitter.
I’ve been thinking about that Negroni quite a bit and wondering if I could make a variation with what I have in the liquor cabinet – namely a bottle of Aperol that I used this summer to make Aperol Spritzes but that has been lingering on the shelf ever since. I did a bit of research and found out that it’s not that unusual to substitute Aperol for the Campari in a Negroni so thought I’d give it a try. While I was at it, I also had a grapefruit on hand and since grapefruits are bitter, I thought, why not?
My experiment in mixology paid off – this is a fruity, slightly sweet, slightly bitter drink. It’s simple and straightforward and would probably have had even better grapefruit tones if Clay hadn’t tried to help by juicing the grapefruit and then dropping the cocktail shaker on the floor (yep – it already had the gin, vermouth and Aperol in it. I don’t recommend this step – it leaves the floor a really sticky mess). Fortunately, the grapefruit was only juiced half-way and there was enough to start over and make this cocktail. This is a great watch a classic movie and snuggle under the blankets kind of drink. Happy Friday Happy Hour!
1 ounce gin
1 ounce sweet vermouth
1 ounce Aperol
Juice from ½ a grapefruit
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice and shake. Serve in a martini glass. Enjoy!