Some time ago the Wall Street Journal ran an article featuring cocktails made with Aperol and St. Germaine.
What was interesting about this article is that both Tom and I read it. Our usual practice is to bring up articles, discover that the other person never read it and then to fill each other in. Was it because it was about cocktails? Was it because the Aperol just could not possibly be that vivid orange color? Was it because we both think of "Your Mother was a hamster and your father smells of elderberries*" when we see the word elderflowers (prime ingredient in St. Germaine)?
We will probably never know.
What we do know is that at the end of our discussion we had gotten interested enough to go out and buy a bottle of each. Frustratingly, though I remembered having seen Aperol as a mystery ingredient of practically every other recipe in our Mr. Boston: Official Bartender's Guide, now I could find none of them.
The Aperol is vividly orange both in color and flavor, but with an underlying bitter anchor of rhubarb. St. Germaine liqueur tastes, as the liquor store stockboy surprisingly and eloquently told Tom, "Fresh." Fresh as a spring day, one might say, with the full realization that such a description is not at all evocative on the mind's palate.
At any rate, eventually we made an Aperol Spritz and an Aperol Sour, both of which I will supply recipes for in the future.
Rose discovered the Mr. 404 because she chooses cocktails for their names. It is a Vodka cocktail containing both Aperol and St. Germaine. Tasty enough, but I do not favor Vodka, feeling that I enjoy flavor from my alcohol as well as a buzz.
Therefore, I took the creative license of substituting Gin for the Vodka and, in the age-old cocktail tradition, renaming the drink somewhat after myself.
Thus was the Mrs. 404 born. And there was great rejoicing.* We all preferred it to the original and it has become a mainstay among our weekend cocktail choices.
Try it and see what you think.
1-1/2 ounces Gin
3/4 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce St. Germaine
1/2 ounce Aperol
1/2 ounce simple syrup**
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Equal parts water and granulated sugar, heated over a flame, and then cooled and stored in refrigerator until needed. Keeps indefinitely refrigerated in a scrupulously clean container.
*Monty Python and the Holy Grail