Nope, this isn't a cosmo. This pink refresher is a seasonal cocktail made with vodka, fresh rhubarb juice, and Aperol, as served at Franny's in Brooklyn.
We asked the bartender how Franny's pulled the juice out of the rhubarb and we were surprised by her answer. The recipes we know for rhubarb juice call for cooking rhubarb in boiling water with sugar and then straining and cooling the liquid. But, the bartender told us that the cooks at Franny's break down the rhubarb in the Cuisinart and then squeeze the pulp to pull the juice out.
Aperol, an aperitif like Campari and Lillet, is an acquired taste, but it has become a favorite summer flavor around here ...
Aperol is "Campari's cute little sister" as Seattle Weekly says. Aperol is lighter, with flavors of strawberry, oranges, and, yes, rhubarb. We use a dash of Aperol in our grapefruit granita, mix it in cocktails with grapefruit soda and strawberry slices, and treat ourselves to bracing swigs of Aperol on the rocks as we cook. Aperol is unique because of its low alcohol content, just 11%.
Aperol is "storming the states" and is available here in New York City at Red, White, and Bubbly, 215 Fifth Ave., in Park Slope Brooklyn for $18.95 each. (They told us they only have two bottles left, so get there quick!) Know another source for Aperol or have another recipe? Let us know in the comments.