The old switcheroo (drinks division)

You’d like to make an Aperol Spritz, that refreshing apéritif I’ve discussed in Radio Free Daglan previously, but you suddenly realize you may not have all the ingredients at hand. What can you possibly do?

As a public service, this brief post will provide some guidance on doing the old switcheroo — using substitute ingredients, with no harm done. (My last post that dealt with the old switcheroo technique, on May 18,  explained why it is far better to replace plants and flowers that are not behaving properly.)

One ingredient for the Aperol Spritz is a must: the Aperol itself, which is made in Italy. As I’ve explained, don’t expect to find it in any supermarket in the Greater Daglan Area. We order ours at the Julien de Savignac wine shop in Sarlat, where the shopkeeper has at least heard of it and has managed to find a supplier.

The next key ingredient is the Italian sparkling wine, Prosecco. Well, once again, you can pretty much forget about buying that around here, but there are some excellent substitutes. We have used Champagne, although I admit it’s a pricey choice. A good dry sparkling wine would be fine, and this is the one we prefer:


Look for the word “Brut” on the label, meaning that it’s a dry wine.

To make your Spritz, you pour three parts of the sparkling wine and one part Aperol into a nice glass with several ice cubes. If you’re traditional, add some Perrier or equivalent sparkling water; personally, we avoid watering down the drink. Then you garnish your drink with a slice of orange.

Recently, however, we were making the drinks when I realized that we had used up our last orange, and our nearby convenience store was closed for lunch. Gasp!

But then I did the old switcheroo, and wound up with this:

Aperol Spritz

Yes, I’ve used a whole strawberry instead of an orange slice!

The strawberry worked just fine, floating nicely in the drink. And that, naturally, got me thinking about other substitute garnishes.

Here’s my favourite so far: A long, thin wedge of very crisp dill pickle in a Bloody Caesar. (Here, I should explain to non-Canadian readers that a Caesar is a Bloody Mary for grown-ups, in that it uses Clamato — tomato juice with the addition of clam juice — instead of tomato juice.) However, my clever idea involving the dill-pickle wedge may have to wait for our next trip to North America. Our chances of locating Clamato juice in the GDA are pretty close to zero.


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2 Responses to The old switcheroo (drinks division)

  1. Rob West says:

    This is all very well and good … IF you don’t have the fixin’s for a classic martini. By experience, we know that you will have to fix it yourself. The good people of France make very many things very well indeed, but ONE of them is NOT a martini. Just saying.

  2. Keithster says:

    We well remember the Kriter from the Nice trip. And by Nice I mean nice.

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