Cheers to summer and summer drinks!
A few months before the announcement of the “And Just Like That…” reboot of Sex and the City, food and drink writers were predicting that this summer was ripe for the Cosmo Comeback. With the news of the reboot, it seems like everything is lining up for Cosmopolitan lovers everywhere.
Most of the articles that cover the cocktail focus on bartenders, and bar and restaurant programs but the Cosmo is one drink that is easy to master at home. All you need is good quality ingredients; clean spirits, fresh lime juice and a leakproof shaker—even the ubiquitous cranberry juice is optional these days.
My friends Matt and Brendan have never stopped drinking Cosmos, and Brendan has been experimenting lately with variations on the classic pale cranberry-pink version. When I was visiting them recently, he made me an “Aperol Cosmo” that was exceptional. This drink is an elevated cocktail for anyone who loves an Aperol Spritz. And, I for one have always loved and will always love Aperol. I love the bittersweet bright orange liqueur. The fact that it has a low alcohol content makes it a perfect aperitif. The slightly sweet, slightly bitter, citrusy orange and herbal notes blend seamlessly with the traditional ingredients of vodka, fresh lime juice and Cointreau. It is my favorite variation of the classic Cosmo—in fact, I like it better than the original!
The Aperol Cosmo is festive and just looking at it will put a smile on your face. Brendan adds a little agave syrup to balance out the tart lime juice and suggests that you adjust the Aperol and the Vodka to suit your taste but follow the general ratios of the recipe below. I think the half-moon orange slice is key to the look and feel of the drink, and the bonus is that you get to eat the infused fruit when you finish the drink.
Brendan’s Aperol Cosmo
This makes one drink. Double the quantities for two cocktails.
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2 generous ounces best-quality vodka
1 ounce Aperol
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1 1/2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
Squeeze of Agave syrup, about a generous teaspoon
Orange wheel, cut in half for garnish
Add the vodka, Aperol, Cointreau, lime juice and a handful of ice cubes to a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
Strain into a martini glass and float a half-moon orange wheel on top of the drink for a garnish.