Il Sorpasso and Beemster Cheese

On a late spring evening in Oakland, CA

Christiana White
2 min readJun 1, 2022


Photo by Arsene M Øvrejorde on Unsplash

I’m attacking this Beemster cheese with these water crackers that must be used before they go stale, alas. That is my excuse for continuing to deliver these morsels to my open mouth like an automaton. Can’t let the crackers go stale, can we now?

It doesn’t hurt that this Il Sorpasso cocktail I just made from New York Times Cooking is the bomb, and will vie, I can tell already, with my other favorite cocktails for first place. Who knew bourbon and Aperol were so great together? But, great they are, I assure you.

It’s that special time of day when, speaking of vying, the light in the sky jockeys for position with the light from people’s windows. One is cool grey, maybe with the palest shimmer of yellow from the recent sunset, while the other is warm, popping almost orange in comparison. That is the home front, looking awfully cozy against the blue-ing light.

Oh, yes. I just peeked out the window to be sure what I was saying is true, and it’s even more true than I said. In fact, against the cozy yellow-orange of the light in my neighbor’s window, the reflection of the sky on their white house is not blue but turquoise. Actual turquoise.

It’s delightful, a very special time that only lasts a few minutes as the gloaming slides into darkness.

As is my cocktail (delightful, that is). One of the best things about it is that it’s light. It won’t give me a headache. That’s because Aperol is a rather light aperitif — only 11% alcohol. This is a good cocktail for a weeknight, especially a late-spring weeknight, when the afternoon’s heat is fading, the bay’s fog approaching, the kitty on the table giving her face a massage on the corner of the cardboard box abandoned there, the dear old dog six inches from the toes of my left foot.

Without further ado, I offer you the recipe:

Il Sorpasso

1 oz. Aperol

1 oz. bourbon

3/4 t. honey

1 t. lemon juice

1/4 t. sugar

2 oz. soda water

1 slice orange

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the Aperol, bourbon, honey, lemon juice, and sugar. Shake well.
  2. Fill a rocks glass with ice, and pour in contents of the shaker. Top with soda water, and garnish with an orange slice.



Christiana White

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