The distinctive blend of flavor infusions including sweet mandarin orange and bitter orange peel along with herbs, roots and spices create a zesty and refreshing spirit unique in its palate pleasing abilities. When given the choice, the specialty cocktail on any given bar menu crafted with Aperol gets my order, either that or you'll find me at home drinking an Aperol Spritz. The versatility lends endless possibilities for cocktail mixing, however the widely known, traditionally crafted, Aperol Spritz blends three parts Prosecco with two parts Aperol and a dash of club soda or seltzer water. I find it works just as well with any sort of sparking wine or dry white wine, or even sans the wine altogether. Aperol and seltzer water alone give a whole new meaning to the word refreshing. Not to mention that bright orange color does wonders for invigorating the spirit. In addition to becoming the latest permanent bottle in my at home bar, I first took notice of its appearance in cocktails at some of my favorite Boston restaurants. My first encounter with Aperol was at Coppa where their Negroni Rosato ($9) combines the liqueur with Rosato vermouth, Bols Genever and rhubarb bitters for a well rounded aperitivo. To quote my review back on May 14th "it was refreshing with bright and sweet flavors and a wonderfully bitter finish." I had no idea at the time that this drink would induce an onset of Aperol fever. We became re-acquainted at the Aragosta Patio Party where the shakes Aperol with freshly squeezed lemon juice and charges it with Prosecco. This was perfection in an extra wide rimmed martini glass. The latest affair occurred a just a couple of weeks ago at Rialto, where the Equinox ($11) blends Aperol with Hayman’s Old Tom gin, grapefruit juice and lemon bitters. At this point my obsession was in full swing. Apparently, Aperol has been delighting since its inception in Italy back in 1919. So, maybe I'm a little late to the party, or maybe you heard it here first; either way, there is something so incredibly fantastic about a drink made with this bright orange, slightly sweet, slightly bitter liqueur.Happy Friday! Go ahead and make yourself an Aperol Spritz this weekend and tell me what you think!