SPRITZ the iconic Italian aperitif

Spritz

If you have been on our Aperitivo: Drinks before Dinner tasting, then you already know all about the secrets behind the Spritz and how good it can be! Yes, the one we had during our tour was pretty amazing.

If you haven’t, then what are you waiting for? In the meantime, here is the original recipe, ideas and fun facts about this trend that has taken over Italy and most parts of Europe.

What is Spritz

First of all, what is Spritz? Wikipedia defines it as a “wine-based cocktail commonly served as an aperitif in Northeast Italy.” Actually it has become the most iconic drink served in the Northern part of this wonderful boot-shaped country.

A little bit of history: The term “spritz” comes from the German verb “spritzen” which means to “splash”. During World War II Austrian troops descended into Northeastern Italy. They were not particularly fond of the local wine, so they took on the practice to add a dash of water to the glass to make the wine more suitable for their palates.

Today this delicious blend of bubbles & bitters has taken on a totally different meaning. The iconic bitter used to blend with the bubbles is Aperol. Aperol is an Italian liquor made with bitter oranges, rhubarb, roots, herbs and another 30 secret ingredients (the original recipe has never been modified). It was invented in 1919 by the Barbieri brothers in the city of Padua as a “tonic for active men” (it only has 11% alcohol content). 

ice cubes in a glass with Aperol

In the 1950’s this bitter drink met the bubble and Spritz came to life! In 2000 the Campari Group purchased Aperol (after solemnly promising not to make any changes to the original recipe) and launched it internationally. 

Enough history! Let’s get serious here. How to make the perfect Aperol Spritz!

  • 3 parts of prosecco
  • 2 parts of Aperol
  • 1 splash of soda.

Few rules to follow: 

First add the rocks in the glass, and by rocks we mean cubes and NEVER crushed ice.  Our favorite glass is one of those large red wine glasses. Pour in the prosecco, the Aperol and then a splash of soda. Garnish with a slice of orange, stir gently and you are set to go.

Variations

Spritz can be made with various other bitter liqueurs. Aperol was the first, but the extravaganza of bartenders around the world has given this iconic drink different alternatives. 

As long as it has bubbles and a low content alcohol, your imagination can run wild. Mix it with what suits your palate the most: lemon syrup, Cynar, red-wine, or even Campari if you like a bolder twist (apparently the perfect match to this kind is a garnish of green olives).

Remember, spritz is a pre-dinner drink. It has a low content alcohol which is ideal to set the stage for whatever plans you have for the evening. It is the perfect drink to end the day and welcome the night!

ENJOY!

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