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Aperol Spritz: the Iconic Italian Aperitif

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Discover Italy’s Favorite Aperitivo: The Aperol Spritz

The world has finally caught on to what Italians have known for years: the Aperol Spritz is the perfect aperitivo. This vibrant mix of sparkling prosecco, orange Aperol liqueur, plenty of ice, and a splash of soda is refreshing, fun, and incredibly trendy. Dive into the fascinating origins of this iconic Italian cocktail.

Join the Foodie Sisters in Italy

Watch as Benedetta and Valeria, the Foodie Sisters in Italy, enjoy and discuss the Aperol Spritz at one of their favorite rooftop bars in Rome.

The History of Spritz

The term spritz originates from the German verb spritzen, meaning to splash. During World War II, Austrian troops in Northeastern Italy found the local wine too strong, so they added a splash of water to make it more palatable.

Over time, this simple practice evolved into the beloved blend of bubbles and bitters we know today. The first and most famous version of the spritz is made with Aperol, an Italian liqueur crafted from bitter oranges, rhubarb, roots, herbs, and 30 secret ingredients. Created in 1919 by the Barbieri brothers in Padua, Aperol was initially marketed as a tonic for active men with an 11% alcohol content.

In the 1950s, Aperol began to be used in spritz recipes, and the cocktail’s popularity soared. In 2000, the Campari Group acquired Aperol, promising not to alter the original recipe, and launched it internationally.

Over the last two decades, the Aperol Spritz has graced cocktail menus worldwide. Here’s how to make the perfect Aperol Spritz at home:

Aperol Spritz Recipe


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


  1. Fill a large glass (a big red wine glass works well) with ice cubes (avoid crushed ice).
  2. Add prosecco, then Aperol, and finish with a splash of soda.
  3. Garnish with a slice of orange.

Spritz Variations

While Aperol is the original, there are numerous variations of the spritz to explore. Popular alternatives include:

  • Campari
  • Cynar (an artichoke liqueur)
  • Red wine
  • Lemon syrup

As long as your drink has a low alcohol content and bubbles, feel free to get creative!

The Perfect Pre-Dinner Drink

The Aperol Spritz is a light, pre-dinner drink that sets the tone for the evening ahead. It’s the ideal way to unwind and transition from day to night.

Learn more about the Aperol Spritz and the Italian aperitivo tradition on The Aperitivo Ritual Tour in Rome , our Aperitivo Tour with Wine Windows and Negroni in Florence or our Bellini and Prosecco and Spritz Tasting Tour in Venice

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