What Santa didn’t bring me for Christmas this last year, I got for myself at The Wine Library back in the States, including two key ingredients for The Apropos: 1) the Italian aperitif Aperol, Campari’s genteel cousin: lighter in color and alcohol content, but produced by the same parent company (nowadays, not originally); 2) yellow Chartreuse – likewise, not as strong as the better-known green Chartreuse — which was actually on the wish list of a bartending friend back in Canadia. (By the way, remind me never to tell you about the time the PhoBlograpHusband and I managed to transport a double-digit number of booze bottles across the border by being completely honest with the customs guard. I don’t know who reads this blog.)

The Apropos’ recipe is another one I spied at SeriousEats.com and held onto because I liked the sound of it, being a twist on the Negroni and similarly elegant in its simplicity. Its dry sweetness makes it a perfect aperitif for just about anyone, while its coral hue means it’d be a good tipple to try on that friend of yours whom you’ve resolved to turn into a real cocktail drinker in 2012 — you know, the one who still orders Cosmoplitans. (Yeah, like it’s still the mid-90s. Gorsh, how about voting for Newt Gingrich too while you’re at it, you Monica/Rachel/Pheebs?!)

The Apropos

(Taken pretty much straight-up from SeriousEats, which in turn got the recipe from Gramercy Tavern)

1 1/2 ounces Bombay London Dry Gin

1 ounce Aperol

1/4 ounce yellow Chartreuse

1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

Orange twist, to garnish

Combine all liquidingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake well. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with orange twist.

Tasting Notes

The Gramercy recipe calls for the drink to be strained into an ice-filled higball glass, but since I like my Negronis up, I did the same here.

You probably did not hear it here first, but Italian liqueurs were huge in 2011 and are gonna be huger in ’12. We’ll talk more about that later, but getting yourself a bottle of Aperol (only $20 and the label is so classic and lovely to look at!) is a good start.