What To Drink If Aperol Is Too Sweet For Your Very Refined Palate

Photo: Claire Lower

If you took part in the recent discourse — or shall we say “spritzcourse” — surrounding a certain beverage, you now know that some people do not enjoy the Aperol spritz, and feel it “drinks like a Capri Sun after soccer practice on a hot day”, but “not in a good way”.

The Aperol Spritz Is Like A Grown Up Orange Soft Drink

Happy weekend, and welcome back to 3-Ingredient Happy Hour, the weekly drink column featuring super simple yet delicious libations. Today I felt like a bubbly, slightly citrusy and refreshing beverage was in order.

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While it’s true that pairing sweet, cheap prosecco with the already sweet liqueur leads to a cloying, not-so-refreshing beverage, it’s also true that an Aperol spritz can be delightful when mixed properly. Also, some people just like sweet things, and that’s fine.

But maybe you don’t like sweet things, and that’s fine too. Maybe you hate the Aperol spritz. Luckily, there are a lot of super bitter apertivi out there, and you don’t have to drink Aperol if you don’t want to. More often than not, I swap Aperol out for Campari, because I like a little bitterness in my beverage.

But if you crave the truly bitter and herbaceous — and I often do — consider leaving the spritz behind completely, and combining three more bitter liqueurs to make one. It's aggressive but, in my bitter-loving opinion, entirely sippable.

The amaro triple threat of Campari, Cynar and Fernet is like a Ferrari, but a little more mellow, as the Cynar adds a little woodsy sweetness to the other two. It’s polarising, but if you have an extremely mature and refined palate that simply cannot abide by the saccharine, it might be your new favourite.

To make it, you will need:

  • 30ml Campari
  • 30ml Cynar
  • 30ml Fernet

Combine everything in a lowball over ice or one big cube. Give it a stir in the glass until it chills out a bit, then take slow, bracing sips.

This drink is particularly good at the end of a long night, especially if you need to perk up a bit, or settle your stomach. (Oh, and if you want to wild out with a fourth ingredient, try a pinch of sea salt.)


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