Earlier this year, I was invited to an Italian friend’s wedding in a little town outside Milan. Not one to pass up an opportunity for adventure, vino and the Italian version of the chicken dance, I replied with a resounding ¡Sí!
And then I panicked. You see, after three years of graduate school and mucho vino (see two blog posts ago), let’s say there’s a little more of me to love. What to wear when none of my clothes fit? Too saddled with student loans to afford a quick fix, I came to the sad realization that there were absolutamente no shopping sprees or nips-and-tucks in my near or distant future.
That didn’t stop me from giving my blog a facelift, though. More on that in a little bit.
Love at First Sip
So my plan for the July 1 wedding was to squeeze into a pre-MBA sheath dress and hope the Italians were so used to national treasure Sofia Loren’s bodacious assets that I’d bounce seamlessly into the curve-friendly landscape.
The night before the wedding, our friend Stefano met us at our hotel and treated us to a round of Aperol Spritzes. One sip of icy, tangy, orange wonderfulness and I was sold.
Turns out the whole world also was sold on Aperol Spritzes, about three years before I discovered it. Yes, I was late to the fiesta, but as I always say, better late than nunca. For any Aperol Spritz virgins out there, here’s a little history.
Aperol, a light liqueur from Padua, Italy, has been around since 1919. It has flavors of orange, rhubarb and vanilla, along with 30-plus other herbs and ingredients. Oh, and it’s on the bitter side. But not in a bad way. Created by the Barbieri brothers, it was eventually bought by Gruppo Campari, which owns Aperol today.
The Aperol Spritz was born in the 1950s and was an instant hit. Over the decades it rose and fell in popularity. After the 2003 acquisition of the Aperol brand by Campari, the Aperol Spritz soared once again, thanks to some smart positioning by the new parent company.
Fast-forward to today, and the Aperol Spritz is a featured cocktail even at my papi’s favorite Italian restaurant in Southern California. You can make your own Aperol Spritzes at home, even if you’re not a mixologist. It’s beyond easy:
You’ll need ice, Prosecco, Aperol, soda water and an orange slice as a garnish.
Step 1: Put some ice cubes into a wine glass.
Step 2: Add 3 parts Prosecco, 2 parts Aperol and top it up with 1 part soda water.
Step 3: Garnish with a slice of fresh orange and serve.
A New Chapter
Stefano and his bellissima bride were married in a quaint church and emerged to face a hailstorm of flying Arborio rice (the rice used to make risotto) on the church steps. Stefano got his revenge by dousing hapless dressed-up guests with a sudden Prosecco counter-attack. There was enough bubbly left for the new Signor e Signora to enjoy an adorable post-nuptial toast.
What followed was a seven-hour reception where we were fed 10 courses (with vino, naturally). We somehow managed to not fall flat on our faces when dancing with Stefano’s wild and warm relatives. Oh, the music! The conga lines! My aching, battered feet! When we just couldn’t take another ounce of frivolity and food, we said our goodbyes and limped back to the car.
Ah, love. It’s been almost exactly one year since I turned in my final research paper and thus finished my Master’s degree. And it’s taken a whole year to free up some brain space and reflect on what I love most about life. Besides my husband, family, friends, wine, food and now Italian weddings, I realized how much I loved writing about wine. And how much I missed blogging.
So in homage to new beginnings and a renewed commitment to posting on a consistent basis again, I decided to give my blog a facelift of sorts. Still the same bones and personality, but with a fresh, energetic new look. I’d love to hear what you think.