The Tasting Panel magazine

JULY 2012

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DEPARTMENT HEADER At Vapiano NYC, bartender Lean Jahns makes an Aperol Spritz. Apertif Hour in NYC With 102 locations worldwide, Vapiano is a truly cosmopolitan eatery, and here, the Aperol Spritz is in its Italian element. "The Aperol Spritz is a lifestyle," explains Tim Powell, General Manager at Vapiano NYC. "It's all about that Italian sense of fun, vibrant living, and that translates really well to what we're doing here." With a lounge with windows that open up to bring the outside in, Powell says that the Aperol Spritz has truly ignited here, grabbing the happy hour spotlight away from other cocktails, like the Cosmopolitan. "For 15 years, that whole Sex in the City thing made vodka and Cosmos cool, but that's evolving," he explains. "People are smarter and more educated in their spirit selections, and understand what an aperitif is. The Aperol Spritz is definitely hip and unique." Picking up on the Spritz's momentum, Vapiano hosts weekly socials that feature the cocktail, and Powell reports that the drink's signature orange hue creates a case of monkey-see-monkey-do. "When guests see that beautiful cocktail in a wine glass go by, and they see others drinking it, they want to try it. People always want to know what that pretty drink is!" The Italian Way Sicilian-born Armando Liuzzo is a clear fan of the Spritz: "I love it! I have been drinking it my whole life. Everybody drinks an Aperol Spritz as an aperitivo in Sicily!" But this Italian sensation has caught fire in Beverly Hills as well, and Liuzzo explains that it's not hard to understand why: "This is the perfect happy hour cocktail," he says. "It is one of our most popular drinks because it is so light, refreshing and balanced. It's wonderful." Although the cocktail is a clear winner before the sun goes down, Liuzzo explains that it's versatile enough to be an any-time, any-food kind of drink. "I think Aperol goes with anything, and that's how we drink it in Italy! People love it, and it's a great drink. They can have fun with it, and that's why they order it." PHOTO: KIRSTEN LUCE Hotspot Vapiano NYC displays a wall of Aperol to entice guests. july 2012 / the tasting panel / 95 PHOTO: KIRSTEN LUCE

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