I need a step stool to make gems like this Aperol Tequila cocktail.
Some bottles of booze may not be a current “main squeeze” but are more of a rather queer stash of alcoholic this-and-that sitting up high in the inconvenient cabinet behind the refrigerator. Here they serve as my alcoholic booty calls — ready to satisfy me at a moment’s 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 letting them slowly deteriorate up here is just a little less wasteful than tossing them outright.
Its when the ‘main cabinet bottles’ fail to inspire or excite me I get a step stool and crawl up to the inconvenient shelf 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 so here it is!
In case you have been wondering what I’ve been up to recently… I just had the pleasure of being interviewed for CilantroCooks.com. There little place on the web is a cook’s shop filled with lots of cooking this and that. They asked me what it was I’ve been cooking lately so I shared with them an easy recipe for Pan Fried Steak with Mushrooms and Spinach that I’ve been making a LOT lately but just haven’t had the time to share it with you here. Jump over there to take a look when you get a chance!