When Tom and I arrived at Lauren Gerrie's sixth floor walk-up on the evening of one of the hottest days of summer so far, she—and her dog, Boot—did not hesitate. They just went ahead and whipped up a couple of the best Aperol spritzes we'd ever had. (Boot's contribution was nonstop barking.) The chilled Collins glasses, perfectly quadrilateral ice cubes, and fat wheel of orange rind were refreshingly nice. But the buzz after just one probably had more to do with hefty pours of both prosecco and Aperol, nicely balanced with—wait for it—freshly brewed hibiscus iced tea!
As Marc Jacobs' former personal chef, Lauren unsurprisingly makes a really good cocktail. But this one tasted so much like the movie Dirty Dancing feels that I emailed her a couple days later for the details.
She wrote back quickly:
"I always have room temp hibiscus tea in the summer! I steep a large batch from dried blossoms I buy at Dual in the East Village. Following a traditional spritz recipe I add a bit of the tea for tang to balance the sweet Aperol and for the color—a stunning crimson red. I follow this recipe, and swap out the club soda for tea. Get fancy with glassware and substitute other garnishes.
My thumb is cramping— Lauren"
Enjoy through Labor Day, everyone. Cheers to summer Fridays!
Photographed by Tom Newton.