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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 490
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Aperol Cocktails
Tuesday 10 November 2015   —   Category: Cooking & Food
A couple of months ago I decided to have an early dinner at the EastBurn Public House in Portland, Oregon, so I could try Beef Wellington for the first time.

I was planning on having a glass of red wine with my meal, but since it was happy hour and cocktails were cheaper than wine, I let the waiter talk me into trying their ‘Sunset Sour’.

It consisted of Corner Creek Reserve Bourbon Whiskey, Aperol, lemon (juice and slice, apparently), simple syrup, and a large ice cube, as seen in the photo to the right.

It was one of the few cocktails I’ve had in a restaurant or bar during my half-century sojourn on this planet, and I had never seen an ice cube as large as the two-incher in my glass.
 
The cocktail was excellent, with a perfect blend of ingredients. I had never before heard of Aperol, and was intrigued when the waiter told me that this Italian apéritif is made from rhubarb, along with oranges, herbs, roots and other flavors.

Back home in Albany, I began to wonder if I could make a similar cocktail at home. At the local liquor store I found the Corner Creek whiskey easily enough, but they didn’t have Aperol. However, they offered to order it for me.

The following week when I went to pick it up, they told me that they had ordered a box of Aperol, and they were hoping that I would buy more than one bottle. I would have liked to oblige them, but it was kind of on the spendy side, and since this was my first try, I wasn’t sure how much I would like it.
 
 
Earlier in the year I had purchased a couple of mini ice cube trays that produce many dozens of tiny, rounded ice cubes, which are nice for certain types of drinks. Now, for this type of cocktail, I needed to go to the other extreme and make extra-large two-inch ice cubes.

After looking at the options on Amazon.com, I settled on the Tovolo King Cube Ice Tray, which comes in thirteen different colors. I’ve never used a silicone tray before, but it works well and the cubes are humungous ... almost a little too big. Be sure to give the cubes plenty of time to freeze completely.
To the right is pictured my first attempt at recreating the ‘Sunset Sour’ cocktail I had in Portland. I made it with Sprite, Corner Creek Reserve Bourbon Whiskey, Aperol, and a huge two-inch ice cube from my new tray. It wasn’t exactly the same as EastBurn’s, but it was still quite nice.

Since then, instead of Sprite, I have decided to use Ocean Spray Ruby Red grapefruit juice which I found at WalMart in a six-pack of ten-ounce bottles.

Half a bottle (five ounces) is just the perfect amount to make a cocktail. I add one ounce of whiskey and one ounce of Aperol, and of course, a giant ice cube. My concoction is delicious and refreshing, without a strong, overpowering alcohol taste.

Once again, it is fun and rewarding to bring a restaurant experience home and make it my own!
 
For a list of all the articles and photo albums resulting from my exploration of Burnside Street, see Portland Burnside Adventure Wrap-Up.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 490
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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 490
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