APEROL ORANGE SODA
Makes: 1 drink.
Note: Aperol is a sweet orange liqueur. To make simple syrup, in a saucepan, bring one part sugar and one part water -- say a cup of each -- to a boil, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This is a signature drink at Stg Trattoria in Atlanta, where it is made with San Benedetto sparkling water, but any kind of soda water can be used.
• 1 oz. (2 tbsp.) Aperol (see Note)
• 1/2 oz. (1 tbsp.) simple syrup (see Note)
• 1/2 oz. (1 tbsp.) fresh lemon juice
• Crushed ice
• 3/8 c. (3 oz.) soda water
• Dash of orange bitters
• Strip of orange peel
Pour the Aperol, simple syrup and lemon juice into a cocktail glass or other small, 8-ounce tumbler. Mix well. Cover with crushed ice. Top with soda water and dash of orange bitters. Stir briskly. Garnish with orange peel. Serve immediately.
HERBES DE PROVENCE LEMONADE
Serves 6 to 8.
Note: Rosemary, lavender and other herbs (depending on the mix) give lemonade a sunny disposition. This is especially good with bourbon. Try sprigs of rosemary as a garnish, but lemon, mint and lemon balm are other good options.
• 11/3 c. granulated sugar
• 2 heaping teaspoons dried herbes de Provence
• 2 quarts (8 c.) cold water, divided
• 1/3 of a whole vanilla bean
• 1 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
• Crushed ice
• Rosemary sprigs for garnish, if desired
Place granulated sugar, herbes de Provence and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Split a third of vanilla bean and scrape seeds into the water. Toss the bean into the pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring regularly until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 3 to 5 minutes. Cover and allow to steep for 20 to 30 minutes.
Strain the syrup into a large pitcher. Add lemon juice and remaining 7 cups water and stir. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Pour into glasses over plenty of crushed ice, and garnish with a rosemary sprig, if desired.