It’s an annual New York ritual where sport and libations go hand in hand.
The US Open, known as the world’s busiest sporting event, captures the attention of the masses each year with gravity-defying sporting feats that vividly depict both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. But major services and heart-pounding matches aside, the libations and food that fill the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center are just as remarkable as the players themselves, who include stars ranging from Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz at the Madison Keys, playing for the United States. States.
On a recent sweltering night, getting to Queens proved to be a feat in itself with traffic jammed for miles. But once there, the rewards awaited them. There is an extensive food and drink village with vendors selling everything from pizza to beer. For the high rollers seated courtside, some have access to the 1968 Lounge which offers a premium buffet featuring everything from freshly cracked lobster to brisket.
The cocktails stand out though, including the famous Honey Deuce. Created for the event 17 years ago by Nick Mautone (an alumnus of the Gramercy Tavern in New York), the cocktail features Gray Goose vodka accompanied by lemonade and garnished with Chambord. Her signature look is complete when topped with two skewered melon balls.
According to a recent interview with Mautone, he recalls that inspiration stuck after a trip to the farmers’ market gave him melons, which he then rolled into balls. “As I was looking at this pile of honeydew melon balls, I looked at my wife and said, ‘those look like tennis balls,'” he recalled. “It’s the garnish.”
But while the Honey Deuce may be the US Open’s signature cocktail, another summer favorite is giving it a hard time and hopes to usurp the Deuce. This year, the La Dolce Vita sweetness of the Aperol Spritz makes its presence known throughout the famous event, bringing with it a long history and intense fandom.
Recently, the queue in front of the orange glow of the Aperol Spritz pop-up was as long as the queue to watch the tennis matches themselves. That evening, said Alcartaz faced his German competitor Alexander Zverev. But as fans settled into their seats for the game, many held up plastic chalices containing the light orange cocktail.
While the Honey Deuce has been around for less than 20 years, the Aperol Spritz recently celebrated a tasty centenary. Invented in 1919 by Luigi and Silvio Barbieri in northern Italy (its name is an Italian version of the French word apéritif). It is said that the cocktail only became popular after the brutal days of World War II that followed the country.
In these post-war years, Italy experienced what is called an economic “boom”, becoming world famous thanks to fashion (Gucci, Prada), cinema (Federico Fellini and Roberto Rosselini)automobiles (Fiat, Ferrari, Lamborghini) food (with Italian cuisine, from pizza to pasta, which is rapidly gaining popularity beyond its borders). Since then and since then, the cocktail has become synonymous with summer and ingrained in culture, a staple wherever beachside cocktails are served, with sales increase over the past five years.
Its worldwide virality dates back to 2018, when sales increased 48% year-over-year. By 2022, Aperol sales have increased by 72 percent. Parent company Campari said 300,000 Aperol Spritz are sold daily in Italy’s Veneto region alone.
Lately, the HBO series The White Lotus has been showcasing cocktail culture. Naturally, the Aperol team at the US Open invited one evening the star of the series Meghann Fahey, who played the unfortunate Daphne.
As fans sweat from extremely high humidity and record-breaking temperatures in Queens, which hovered near 100°C during the day for much of the multi-day competition. (that night, Alacraz ended up beating Zverev), invite the Aperol Spritz to come to your rescue. Match point.
Prepare your own Aperol Spritz
- 3 parts Prosecco DOC
- 2 parts Aperol
- 1 little sparkling water
- Orange slice
Preparation: Place the ice cubes in a balloon glass. In order, pour ice cubes, Prosecco, Aperol and soda into a glass. Stir and garnish with orange as garnish.