I'm back! Although with a serious vacation hangover, otherwise known as jet lag, that causes me to wake up at midnight thinking I have had a full night's sleep and that it's time to get up because, after all, it's 10 a.m. in Europe.
It's the price I pay for having a fabulous vacation, right? That and a couple of extra pounds despite walking an average of eight miles a day. I'm back to the gym in a serious way.
David and I flew from Anchorage to Rome, which is less difficult than you might think--there is a flight that goes straight from Anchorage to Frankfurt in about nine hours, and then we caught a quick flight to Rome. We stayed in Rome for four days and then gradually worked our way back through Florence, Bologna, Verona, Trento and Bolzano in northern Italy, Innsbruck, Austria and finally Munich before catching a train back to Frankfurt.
I am so happy to have a large supply of clean clothes and my own bed, and lots of material to share here. To start, let me give you an aperitif. Literally.
From Rome to Munich, I kept seeing wine glasses containing a slightly fizzy orange drink on every outdoor cafe table. Either Aperol has a really great advertising budget, or, as I conceded when I finally tried one near the end of our trip, this was a brilliant drink.
Aperol is a liqueur made primarily of oranges, including blood orange, plus unidentified herbs and roots.
An Aperol Spritz is a drink containing Aperol, sparkling wine and sparkling water. It is traditionally consumed as an aperitif because it is light, relatively low in alcohol and a totally kick-ass color. David and I brought a bottle of Aperol back to play with, and I'm hoping that I can find it here locally because it's going to become the drink of the summer.
Don't use your fancy champagne here. Prosecco is the traditional wine of choice, but we made it with cheap Spanish sparkling wine (cava) and it tasted great. Also, play with the proportions--David liked his with a little less sparkling wine and a little more water.
3 jiggers Aperol liqueur
2 jiggers sparkling wine
1 jigger sparkling water or club soda
Orange slices for garnish (optional)
Pour the sparkling wine and water into a large wine glass and add a few ice cubes and an orange slice if you have one. Add the Aperol and give it a very quick stir.
Makes one serving.