“I like to use Aperol to enhance the visual appeal of a cocktail while tying in just the right amount of bitter sweetness to balance out any creation,” says Gina Buck, the beverage director at Concord Hill in Brooklyn. Her favorite way to use it is for a chile pepper infusion, which goes into this spicy and bright cocktail. You could also use the infused Aperol in a Michelada or Mimosa at brunch.
- 1 lime wedge
- Spice mix (equal parts sea salt and Old Bay seasoning), for rim
- 1 1/2 ounces mezcal
- 1/2 ounce red-chile-infused Aperol*
- 1 ounce pineapple juice
- 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/4 ounce agave nectar
- 1 dash Peychaud’s bitters
- Garnish: lime wheel
Rub the rim of a rocks glass with the lime wedge, coat with the spice rim and set aside.
Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into the prepared rocks glass over fresh ice.
Garnish with a lime wheel.
*Red-chile-infused Aperol: Add 3 or 4 red chile peppers sliced down the center to a 750 mL bottle of Aperol. Let peppers infuse for 2 or 3 days until desired flavor is achieved, then strain out the solids.