James Beard Award-nominated Rebekah Pepple snubbed the Prosecco, club soda, Aperol and orange slice concoction in an incendiary New York Times op-ed titled, “The Aperol Spritz Is Not a Good Drink.”
She slammed the Italian wine-based aperitif, describing it as something that “drinks like a Capri Sun after soccer practice on a hot day. Not in a good way.”
Geez, what did the bubbly elixir ever do to her? Whatever is the origin of her animosity,
Pepple launched an online battle, and social media users were telling friends to hold their drinks.
Considering we go through 12 cases of Aperol a week at @GCaffeLaquila I would say the people have spoken
NYT FOOD<APEROL SPRITZ
— Gigio (@Gbotic) May 9, 2019
Try better quality prosecco then, since that seems to be your chief complaint!
— True Git (@TrueGitt) May 9, 2019
USA Today quoted a commenter who pretty much blamed Americans for butchering a Northeastern Italian favorite.
“And now another example of how an Italian Great has been reduced to a ‘one size fits all measure’ by the Americans. If you make something incorrectly it is obvious that it won’t taste as good. Enjoy your spaghetti meatballs.”
Others thought Pepple needed to cool off. Jackie Alemany compared the writer’s style to that of racy climate change contrarian, Bret Stephens.
Is this a Bret Stephens column? Also, there is no such thing as a bad capri sun after soccer practice on a hot day. https://t.co/GMk0CzCR1p
— Jackie Alemany (@JaxAlemany) May 9, 2019
Pepple bashed the typical “terrible quality, sweet prosecco” composition of the cocktail and managed to ruffle feathers for those with a preference for the fine taste of cheap alcohol by suggesting not to ruin the spritz with “garbage bubbles.”
Aperol Spritz lovers were wound up.
Sorry the writer can’t find a good bar and her friend doesn’t like them. Why was this written other than for cheap hate clicks? This belongs on HuffPost.
— Jesse Morgan (@jessemorgan) May 9, 2019
Haha please. It’s an aperitivo drink that Italians have while catching up with friends after work before dinner time. The drink has been taken out of context worldwide and people have it with their dinner. Yuck.
— Matty P (@Pavgate) May 9, 2019
Ah ok so the rich American gets to tell venetians how their century old cocktail isnt good. Nice. We weren’t our own empire for a thousand years for this Rebekah please have some respect.
— civil discourse perisic (@itranovero) May 10, 2019
Maybe you should stop adding urine
— Seth Sanders (@SethLSanders) May 9, 2019
Why would listen to crazy person with 300 cats
— Gabe Wright (@MBA_Thug) May 9, 2019
Some stood by Pepple’s article, like Lauren Tarzian, a mixologist at Somos in North Arlington, New Jersey.
She says she never understood the appeal of Aperol. But then she started getting creative to make it palatable.
“You can mix it with so many things: Prosecco, Italian sparkling wine, club soda. When you’re doing something with that bitter Aperol, you need other dry tastes. That’s where you get that nice balance of the bubbly.”
There is no definitive recipe for the fizzy, but there must be a quantity of at least 40% Prosecco and 30% sparkling water. The only variant is the alcohol ratio, which ranges from region to region.
An unwritten rule is that the drink preserves its synonymous ruby red coloration.
Not everyone is convinced that the Aperol Spritz deserves a rightful position among favored cocktails.
Famed English food writer Nigella Lawson tweeted:
“Why would anyone have a Tizer-like Aperol Spritz when you could have a Campari Soda or even an Americano?”
— Nigella Lawson (@Nigella_Lawson) May 9, 2019
Lawson fans diplomatically discounted her opinion.
Actually Nigella it depends on the mix. In Ibiza this summer we had some glorious spritzs served at our hotel
Still to find one comparable in England sadly 😢
— Laurie Jones (@the_lozzmeister) May 9, 2019
Makes total sense to avoid it in London, where no one gets it right, and paying cocktail prices for crap that never saw a drop of prosecco isn't unheard of. But take it from a native – well-made, 3€ Aperol Spritz is one of the few good things about Northeastern Italy.
— Iris (@edgwareviabank) May 10, 2019
For me, Aperol Spritz tastes of summer, sunshine and happiness. Campari or an Americano are both lovely, but it’s a seasonal thing. Plus, I have a bias for sweeter flavours
— Alberto Nardelli (@AlbertoNardelli) May 9, 2019
Monthly publication Food & Wine defended the spritzer, indicating that despite all the bullying from snobbish high society individuals, the Aperol Spritz is here to stay.
If the goal is getting a buzz after an arduous day, why is it anyone’s concern how I take my poison? Cheers.
Check out a lot of Aperol and other light cocktail combinations in this book: Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with Recipes.