The Millennial Pink trend is alive and well in 2018. It’s a blush, cotton candy-sweet, oh-so-photogenic shade that can be found on our clothes, our furniture and our luggage. While it does come in a small range of hues and intensities, you definitely know it when you see it even if you didn’t know what to name it.
After growing in popularity throughout the ‘90s and ‘00s, it shot to the number one choice of colors used by advertisers and retailers when Pantone—a US-based, world-renown color authority—named Rose Quartz one of its Colors of the Year in 2016. Since then we’ve run with this love and haven’t looked back, inventing just about every way possible to live our best lives basking in warm, peachy pink.
Maybe that helps to explain Aperol’s recent boom in popularity, as the Spritz was suddenly back on nearly every cocktail menu in bars and restaurants from Los Angeles to London last summer. A bitter, tangy Italian apéritif (an alcoholic drink traditionally enjoyed before a meal), the exact recipe is guarded by the eponymous brand but it’s a mix of orange, rhubarb, cinchona, and gentian. In other words, it’s an infusion of citrus, roots and bitter herbs that’s a very level-headed 11 percent ABV.
It can be easy to confuse Aperol with Campari: they’re similar in color and are owned by the same parent company, Gruppo Campari. Campari is also the main ingredient in two other very popular aperitifs, the Negroni and Americano. To remember the difference, just think of Aperol as Campari’s less bitter, younger sibling since it was invented in 1919—59 years after Campari—by the brothers Barbieri in Padua. Because it’s a little sweeter while still staying shy of Kool-Aid-style sugary, it’s often used as a supporting ingredient in lighter cocktails like the Spritz, which is simply three parts Prosecco, two parts Aperol and one part soda.
Recently though, Aperol’s been tinting heavier-hitting cocktails found in some New York City bars like Brooklyn’s Le Fanfare and Greenwich Village’s Analogue. The latter serves a few booze-forward drinks with the ingredient, but the Millennial Pink one that’s sure to rack up likes on Instagram is Rosemary’s Maybe. As easy on the eyes as it is going down, you can shake up a few and post to your heart’s content with this recipe:
1.5 oz Reyka Vodka
2.0 oz oleo saccharum (orange drank!)
0.5 oz lemon juice
0.5 oz Aperol
Shake with a rosemary sprig, double strain over crushed ice and garnish with a rosemary sprig.