Winter is gray. Aperol Spritzes are decidedly not. Jolt yourself out of your seasonal depression, or at least waylay it for as long as it takes to finish a full wine glass, with a cheery serving of the orange, effervescent drink. Your dreary surroundings will be reduced to a fleeting impression, as faint as the bitter herbal bite hiding beneath the Aperol Spritz’ prosecco sweetness. Although known for its summer day-drinking potential—Aperol contains only 11 percent ABV, and prosecco is about the same—and its spot-on impression of the sun, the Aperol Spritz was tailor-made for winter.
If that’s not enough to convince you, consider this argument: the Aperol Spritz pairs brilliantly with pizza. And you know what never fails to ease the emotional pain wrought by winter? Yeah, pizza.
Seppe Pizza Bar, a new joint in Staten Island, New York, has five house-special red pies, five house-special white pies, and two spritzes on the menu. One is the traditional Aperol Spritz.
“The Aperol Spritz is a classic Italian cocktail, so we wanted to have it on our menu from the beginning,” say Harrison Ginsberg and Nick Rolin, who run Seppe’s cocktail program. The bright bubbles and citrus help counteract the pizza’s oily meats and cheeses, keeping your palate refreshed as you grab a second, third…and fourth slice.
The other is called the Seppe Spritz, which Ginsberg and Rolin say “marries flavors of Italian citrus” and pairs well with their white pie. It is made with 1 oz. Cocchi Americano, 1/4 oz. Acqua di Cedro, 1/4 oz. Italicus, prosecco, and a splash of soda, then garnished with two basil leaves and two lemon wheels.
Grab a spritz, grab a slice, and pretend the dreadful weather outside your window is the Italian countryside.