Drinks of the World: Negroni and Aperol Spritz

When I go to Italy, I drink lots of wine.  I also drink my fair share of Peroni and Moretti beer.  But when it’s about 5:00 and I’m perched in an out-of-the-way square in some forgotten corner of town, nothing says “happy hour” like a Negroni.  Negroni is a mixture of equal parts sweet vermouth, Campari and gin.  Served on ice with an orange wedge, and maybe some lemon, it’s an awesome drink for a sunny Italian late-afternoon/early-evening.  Here it is usually served alongside a bowl of salty potato chips and maybe, if things are really going your way, some delicious olives.

When Mrs. NH goes to Italy, she also drinks vino and birra but loves, more than most anything, the cool, mellow flavor of an Aperol Spritz.  Served in a stemmed glass and of a lighter, bubblier, sweeter shade than the Negroni, it’s the perfect drink for all the ladies out there.  It’s a mix of Aperol (a bitters) and Prosecco.  It is also served with the orange wedge (blood orange in Sardegna) and is just a touch more elegant than the gin-sporting Negroni.

Now, I’m sure there are plenty of ladies out there that would say they like Negronis just as much or more than a Spritz – that’s fine.  Just telling you how it works in the NH house.

However, if you ever find yourself in a sunny, secluded corner of an Italian town on a warm Spring day, order a Negroni or an Aperol Spritz.  Don’t tell them NotHemingway sent you because I’m sure they don’t remember me.

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