The Common Dawn, An Apéritif

Published On May 28, 2013 | By Vijay Nathan | Cocktails, Gin

The Common Dawn from Vijay Nathan for The Boys Club

Traveling through Europe in the summertime can be a magically rejuvenating experience, especially if you’re coming from the hustle and bustle of city living. One of the memories (and activities) I most enjoy is the early evening apéritif, a pre-dinner palate-preparing cocktail that’s light, fragrant, and refreshing. This cocktail, with Aperol, Lillet Blanc, gin, and grapefruit, is a nod to the drinks I remember having at particularly small tables outside of a café in Florence.

Often consumed in the late afternoon or early evening before a meal, apéritifs (or aperitivos as they are known in Italy) are palate-inducing cocktails meant to spark your appetite. They often contain one of the many European herbal concoction liqueurs like Campari, Amaro, or Vermouth, giving the drink a subtle bitterness. Lower in alcohol, and on the lighter side, a good apéritif can be something as simple as a glass of champagne or prosecco or, like this drink, a clever combination of several ingredients.

This particular drink is part Italian, part French, and part pure imagination. Starting with both Aperol, an orange flavored cousin of Campari, and Lillet Blanc, this cocktail also has fresh grapefruit juice and lemon juice, which complement the citrus notes in the liqueurs. To add a little more kick, I added a touch of gin, which doesn’t compete with the other strong flavors. To give the drink some depth, I use two types of bitters, Angostura and a new favorite, grapefruit bitters, which are intensely fragrant, like the peel of a grapefruit. This drink is light (but not too light), refreshing, pleasantly bitter, and beautiful in color – an elegant yet accessible way to introduce yourself to apéritifs at home.

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About The Author

is co-founder and “Chief Nosher” at NoshOnIt. He's a whiz in the kitchen and knows how to mix a mean cocktail. Vijay is also all about aperitifs and digestifs, and that's why he's here. Follow Vijay on twitter @noshonit.

3 Responses to The Common Dawn, An Apéritif

  1. Pingback: The Common Dawn Apéritif (Modified) | Man Fuel - a food blog

  2. Pingback: The Boys Club | The Pimm’s “Sippy” Cup

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