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Descanso Beach Smash

While vacationing in 2008 with his wife's family on a boat near Catalina Island, California, John Coltharp was dismayed to see that all the beach bars focused on sweet drinks like pina coladas. Back on his father-in-law's boat, he came up with this pleasantly bitter and refreshing concoction--with Aperol from the well-stocked bar.

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  • Servings: Makes 1 Drink

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  • 1/4 ounce Simple Syrup
  • 3/4 ounce Aperol (bitter orange Italian aperitif)
  • 5 mint leaves, plus 1 mint sprig for garnish
  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • 3 small orange wedges skewered on a pick, for garnish
  • Ice
  • 4 lemon wedges


  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the lemon wedges and mint leaves. Add ice and the whiskey, Aperol and Simple Syrup and shake well. Pour through a fine strainer into a double rocks glass or wineglass filled with ice cubes or crushed ice. Garnish with the mint sprig and skewered orange wedges.
Contributed By Photo © Tina Rupp Published July 2011

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