These bottles may not be current “main squeeze” of mine but the rather queer stash of alcoholic this-and-that sits up high in the inconvenient cabinet behind the refrigerator. Here they serve as my alcoholic booty calls — ready to satisfy me at a moments notice, but never asking any real commitment from me. I would probably toss them out where it not for the lack of conviction to even say goodbye. I don’t like to waste you see and letting them slowly deteriorate up here is just a little less wasteful than tossing them outright.
So, when the main cabinet bottles fails to inspire or excite me I will sometimes get a step stool and crawl up to the inconvenient one and take a look — that is, if I remember they are up there in the first place. I can go a long time without remembering.
Safe from my Beloved’s period urges to sweep through our kitchen with a trashcan, they are:
- My inheritance. In addition to the old set of china and some $8000 in utility bonds I inherited 25 years or so ago I received a dusty box of the spirits my grandmother kept in her own misfit storage cabinet. The bequest included a tall bottle of Galliano I never once saw her drink. She must have inherited it from her own grandmother so I keep it here and plan to leave it to one of my nieces when I die.
- Vacation souvenirs. I could not get enough of that limoncello while tripping through the Amalfi Coast one summer yet once I got home and uncorked the bottle I wrangled through half of Europe I found I didn’t much care for it. Without the sunshine and the view the flavor just wasn’t the same. Ten other bottles of regional specialties that didn’t quite translate sit here as well.
- One shot wonders. The rest were purchased due to some passing obsession that I now seem to be over with. I include here the bottle of absinthe I just had to have but once never drank at home. Never has a guest of mine asked for an absinthe but I do feel some pride knowing I am ready to recreate the Belle Époque in my living room case they ever do.
The bottle of Aperol sat somewhere between my vacation souvenirs and the one shot wonders. I couldn’t get enough of its not-too-bitter orange flavor while in Rome several years ago so naturally I rushed home and foisted an Aperol Spritz into the hand of everyone who happened by between 4PM and 7PM — peak apertivo time. And yet predictably I soon tired not only of the drink, but also the need to open a new bottle of prosecco each time I wanted to serve it.
Without any idea as to what else I could do with it the bottle was eventually relegated to The Cabinet.
Aperol Tequila Sizzle
Thanks to cookbook author and blogger Greg Henry the Aperol is back down off the shelf to cycle through another circle of life. A quick read through his beautifully photographed book “Savory Cocktails” (published last year by Ulysses Press) has breathed new life to the many forgotten treasures stored up in my misfit cabinet. Even the Galliano gets a reprieve! (My poor niece will just have to buy her own bottle! )
Aperol’s bitter orange complexity is a natural foil for tequila and as presented here it makes a nice choice for anyone wanting to enjoy its summer associations without all the sugar of a margarita. I wrote to Greg’s publisher asking if I could reprint his recipe and along with their approval they also kindly offered up two copies of this great book to give away.
One will go to someone chosen at random from amongst those who subscribe to my email list (so subscribe now if you haven’t already) and the other will go to someone who leaves a comment below to tell me about what forgotten treasure they have lurking in their liquor cabinet.
I’ll pick the winners in a couple weeks and post the results here.
Winners were selected! See below:
Congratulations Abbe of “This IS How I Cook” who won for leaving a comment below and to our subscriber Jennifer (of Mt. Pleasant.) Keep an eye out in the mail for your copies of Savory Cocktails by Greg Henry!