When we moved to Italy (and, for the almost last time, if you haven’t yet, check my blog Six Months In Italy out to find information on that), we naturally had to make stopping by a grocery store one of the first things we did. Since we’ll be here awhile, we (and our bank accounts) can’t treat it like a vacation and go out to eat every night. And since wife Nat and I both dig being at the stove, it’d be silly not to cook at home, too. And, we couldn’t go without stocking up our liqueur supply either, to start to create a little home bar. I’m sure it’ll expand quickly, but for this starter trip, we solely picked up bottles of our two favorites: Aperol (Nat) and Strega (me). Of such bold beginnings will cocktail history be made. For now, though, what was made and is being made is a drink I call the “Stock-in-Trade.” Cause it uses what we have in stock, and it’s what we’ll make for the Italians to trade for cheese. That at least sounds fun.
One note: I forget to mention in the Six Bar Tools I Took to Italy post below that I also brought what will become (and has become already, really) essential for the Italian home bar, a little traveler’s set of The Bitter Truth bitters. Pal Debbi gave it to me before I left, and it contains little bottles of celery bitters, creole bitters, Bittermens mole bitters, old time aromatic bitters, and orange bitters, which are utilized in the below recipe. The Stock-In-Trade may shade a tad much on the sweet side for some, but it’s a solid sunshine-day recipe, with herbal hints coming at the end of each sip.
1-1/2 ounces Aperol
1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 ounce Strega
1 dash Bitter Truth orange bitters
1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the Aperol, orange juice, Strega, and bitters. Shake well.
2. Strain into a cocktails glass, or a pretty wine glass if that’s what’s handy.