The Spritz is a famous cocktail of Venice and the Triveneto with origins that hark back to the 19th century when the region was occupied by the Austrian Hapsburgs. Based on the Austrian spritzer of white wine and soda water, the Spritz we know and love today is a Venetian cocktail concoction, el spriss venessian.
These days, this wine-based cocktail is most frequently made with a bitter liqueur like Aperol and Prosecco with sparkling water. Aperol’s attractive orange colour is complemented by its orange, herbal, and rhubarb flavour and 11% alcohol content. In Germany it can reach 15%. Its origins reach back to the Barbieri brothers of Bassano del Grappa and the Fiera Campionaria di Padova of 1919. This trade show launched the drink with much success. Although it has had a long history of marketing triumphs, its greatest has come recently through the association with the Spritz cocktail. The nearby sparkling wine, Prosecco, is a natural, sympathetic fit but we will dedicate proper justice to this bubbly in another entry.
For many, the Spritz is the aperitif par excellence, or, rather, l’aperitivo per eccellenza. As this brief article below indicates for us, the concept of the aperitivo is a fundamentally important cultural phenomenon: it makes one feel hungry and ready to enjoy a fantastic meal all the more. We will also deal with the ever-present and thoroughly important cicchetto shortly.
When your marketing campaign involves sexy Italian scooters, alla Lambretta and Vespa, you have rendered your target market helpless! Resistance is futile: you must drink a Spritz and be figo, anzi, fighissimo!
This cocktail is usually offered with a slice of orange (sometimes lemon) and, if you are in the right bar/bacaro, a gorgeous green olive is inserted on a long swizel stick or skewer.
In 2011, this cocktail received official status from the IBA (International Bartenders Association) as Spritz veneziano.
The classic Venetian recipe is the following:
1/3 sparkling white wine;
1/3 bitter (often Aperol);
1/3 sparkling water.
The official IBA recipe is this:
6 cl of Prosecco;
4 cl of Aperol;
a dash of soda or seltzer water
A Spritz (un spriss venessian) is a great *gateway* to food, wine, and parties ... .