Spring has filled me with a sense of possibilities–the possibilities of cocktails. The time change makes lingering summer evenings seem very close, and while a gin and tonic is the drink of choice for hot weather, I’ve been happily trying out other suitable warmer-weather, pre-dinner drinks. (Ideally, of course, I would try these out in a cafe that I could walk to after work, maybe meeting friends there. I’d order a different aperitif a day from the menu to find my favorites, and then go home and eat something delicious, probably involving seafood.)

Sadly, there are no Parisian cafes in Salt Lake, so I’ve been doing my aperitif experimentation at home. My recent favorite is a far cry from the red wines I sucked down all winter just to keep warm–it’s a vermouth cassis, which is white vermouth, creme de cassis, and soda water.
It’s probably the French equivalent of a wine cooler, but it’s good: it’s just boozy enough for after work but not so strong as to impede cooking; it’s a festive shade of pink; and it has a tasty berry-wine flavor that’s not too sweet.

If you want to make one (and why wouldn’t you?) take 2.5 parts of vermouth to .5 parts cassis and top with club soda and a lemon slice. C’est bon.