Created in 1919 by the Barbieri Company which is based in Padua, Italy. Aperol has become one of the most popular Italian aperitifs of all time. After a relatively slow start Aperol’s unique combination of bitter orange, gentian, rhubarb and cinchona (a plant native to South America) has sky rocketed in popularity since WWII.
Looking a little like Campari (in fact its owned by the Campari company today), Aperol is only half it’s alcohol content at 11% and much more pale in colour. Aperol is sold in Germany however its alcohol content is 15% to avoid Container Deposit Legislation. In Germany, as well as many other countries, a deposit fee is charged which is refunded on the return of the bottle. This fee increases the sale price of the beverage. By increasing the alcohol content the aperitif became immune to the law thus lowering its sale value.
In Italy, Aperol is most commonly drunk as a Spritz. A Spritz, although common in all of Italy is mostly associated with the Veneto region in particular. For many years Veneto came under the control of the Austrian Empire and the drink is based on the Austrian Spritzer, which is equal parts of wine and soda water. A Spritz however consists of Prosecco, Aperol then topped off with mineral water or soda water. It is normally served over ice and garnished with a slice of orange and/or an olive.
A great way to begin dinner