Happy Labor Day holiday to all of my friends in the states. I hope everyone is enjoying a day of rest and relaxation. Here’s an easy, Italian-inspired beverage to make this day extra fun: the beer americano. This cocktail is perfect for the last blistering days of summer.
It pairs perfectly with the salty goodness of potato chips and other cookout fare. Look for this and other amazing summer cocktails in my book Cocktail Italiano!
Beer Americano Serves 1
You will need: – 1 ½ ounces Campari – 1 ½ ounces sweet vermouth – 3 ounces lager beer – lemon zest, for garnish
Combine Campari, vermouth and ices cubes in a tall tumbler, stir to combine. Pour the beer into another glass, stir to create a stiff foam, reserve the foam with a spoon top the cocktiail with the beer foam, about 3 ounces.
**Note: For a lighter Americano feel free to pour 2 ounces of the beer in to the cocktail as well. However, this should be done before you top the cocktail with the foam.
Campari is bitter and can be an acquired taste, so that’s why you must try this recipe. It is simply incredible. I have convinced many people to try this and give Campari another chance. The end of summer is near, so this Campari sorbet is the perfect farewell. Make it today, so you can enjoy it tomorrow and the rest of the weekend. A few things to note: because of the liquor, this is a soft sorbet, so be sure to make it ahead of time and then chill it overnight to achieve the best texture.
Don’t forget to let me know what you think!
Campari Sorbet Serves 8
You will need: – 1 cup water – 1 cup sugar – 3 Tbsp. orange zest 3 oranges, I use a microplane – 2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice (squeeze it yourself; it’s worth it) – 3/4 cup Campari
In a saucepan combine water, sugar, and zest, making a simple syrup
Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, and cool
Add Campari and orange juice to the syrup. You need to chill in the refrigerator at this point, the colder the better before adding it to the ice cream maker
Place into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturers instructions, place into a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap, put into the freezer until ready to serve.
These lovely little two-bite parmesan crisps are savory and salty with a crunch—perfect to serve with a chilled glass of prosecco or rose. It’s a quick appetizer that uses parmesan cheese with a combination of tomatoes – tomato jam to be exact.
The tomato jam is the star of the show, but you’ll love the addition of mozzarella and basil too. These bites make a great addition to any menu for a summer soiree.
Two Bite Parmesan Crisps Makes about 32
For the Tomato Jam:
You will need: – 3 tablespoons olive oil – 1 garlic clove, chopped – 1 teaspoon salt – 4 large heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped – 3 tablespoons sugar – 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
To prepare: Place ingredients into a medium pot over medium heat for 15 minutes, set aside to cool. This step may be done a couple of days in advance and placed in the refrigerator in a sealed container until ready to use.
For the Parmesan Crisps:
You will need: – 8 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 4 cups) – Place 2 tablespoons of Parmesan on a cookie sheet fitted with a silpat. – Arrange the spoonfuls about 3 inches apart as they will spread to form round crisps.
To prepare: Place in a 350 F degree oven for 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool before assembling the appetizer.
To assemble: – 1 (8-ounce) ball fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes – 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
Place a dollop of jam on top of the crisp, and add cubes of mozzarella and garnish with a basil leaf.
Boozy popsicles are such a fun twist on typical summer desserts, especially since they’re a dessert and a cocktail in one!
Typically, I make this recipe as a gelato, but a few years ago, I tested turning it into a refreshing summer popsicle aperitivo, and it worked! While I haven’t revived the recipe this summer, I think it’s about time to do so.
When you serve them, pour a thumbs height of Campari in a pretty glass and place the pop into the glass. The melty pop mingles with the Campari to create a delicious and very Italian Apero. Divine!
Cantaloupe Campari Pops
Makes 10 pops
– 1 Cantaloupe, cut into pieces*
– 1 cup water
– 1 cup sugar
– 1/4 cup Campari
*Note: you can substitute 3-4 cups of passion fruit (about 15 passion fruits)
Make a simple syrup combining the sugar and the water using a small sauce pan on medium heat. Turn off the heat once it starts to boil and set aside to cool.
Blend the cantaloupe and the syrup in a bowl using a hand blender, or blender. Add the campari and put into popsicle molds*.
*Note: I like to pour the puree into the molds using a pitcher; it’s easier.
Freeze for at least 5 hours. Place into warm bath for about 30 seconds to unmold and wrap individually in parchment and place back into the freezer. They can be stored for up to a month, although ours are gone in a week.
Salami puffs are such a quick and fun appetizer for an evening aperitivo. This easy appetizer pulls together in no time. Think of it as pigs-in-a-blanket’s chic older sister…but better!
The recipe calls for cream cheese which is always a winner. Fun fact: in Italy, cream cheese is simply called “Philadelphia.”
You will need:
– 12 slices Genova salami slices cut in half
– 1 sheet puff pastry
– ½ cup cream cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Thaw the puff pastry, and unroll on a board covered in parchment paper. With
a rolling pin, roll the pastry into a 12-by-12-inch square. Then, spread the cream cheese on top of the puff pastry. Cut the pastry with a sharp knife into 3-by-3-inch squares. Place a salami half on top of each pastry square, then fold corners of the square together over the salami until they meet in the center, forming a small pouch. Place on a baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Serve at room temperature.