A gentle and refined introduction to the joys of bitter spirits, Aperol is roughly half the bitterness and half the alcohol of Campari. It takes most of its hue and much of its flavor from rhubarb among other more secretive ingredients. The Alfredo Campari Group now makes this spirit from the recipe of the brothers Barbieri. It will celebrate its centenary in 2019 with its position in the pantheon of classic cocktail ingredients firmly established. From the Aperol Spritz (merely add Prosecco and club soda) to the Paper Plane (a delightful Last Word variation), this spirit brings both a subtle earthiness and bitterness that stimulates the palette. And given that not every cocktail need be a powerhouse of proof, using Aperol to add both flavor and a bit of fortification let’s you take charge of your cocktail hour.