Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Stappj - the perfect aperitivo

Even wine writers have booze-free days. Correct that. All wine writers should have booze-free days but the dilemma is what to drink at Picpoul (or whatever) o'clock. Which in my case is usually about 7pm when I wind down and think about cooking.

Up to now my favourite drink has been a tonic made in the same style as a G & T - i.e. with loads of ice and a good slice of lemon or lime but tonic always seems slightly sickly without the balancing bitterness of gin. (You can - and I do - add a dash of Angostura bitters but it's not the same)

Anyway the other day my friend Elly, patron of the wonderful Pear Café and underground restaurateur extraordinaire brought along this cute little six pack of a an alcohol-free Italian aperitivo called Stappj Bitter which admittedly sounds more Eastern European than Italian but which is a marvel.

It's a lurid vermilion red which probably owes more to E numbers than nature and tastes remarkably like Campari. Serve it cold in a chilled martini glass with a twist of orange peel and you've got yourself a hell of a cool drink.

It's available in Bristol from Licata in Picton Street and Gloucester Road at the knockdown price of £2.50 for six.

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