We are sure that you have heard of Spritz at least once. In Italy it is the perfect drink that shows up anytime Italians want to do an aperitif (aperitivo) with their friends.
Some years ago, also The New York Time posted about it, with the article "The Aperol Spritz is not a good drink". Social media literally exploded and many users, not just the Italian ones, stood up for their favorite cocktail.
Being us Venetians and being us Spritz lovers (as well as Spritz makers!), we want to tell you all the truth about this Venetian drink.
So, let's explore what Spritz truly is, its origin, and how it is made! We are sure that at the end of our article you will truly understand why it simply can't be a bad drink!
The history of Spritz: who invented the popular drink
If you ever tried the Spritz, you have probably drunk the Aperol Spritz. However, do you know that this is not the only version you can find in Italy?
The history of the Spritz starts in the late XVIII century, in Northern Italy. Actually in the Veneto region where Venice is.
At that time this area was part of the Austro Hungarian Empire.
In German, the word Spritz means "to splash": Austrian soldiers gave this name, Spritz, to the Italian wine they drank. As they found it too strong, in fact, they used to mix it with water. A splash of it, of course.
The drink changed over time and now it is no longer wine mixed with a splash of water.
The Barbieri brothers created the Aperol in 1919
At the beginning of the XX century, the invention of the Aperol changed the Spritz forever.
Luigi and Silvio Barbieri in 1919, in fact, created Aperol and this bitter aperitif rose to fame.
During the 1950s, the Aperol Spritz started to enter Paduan society.
Over the years, the Spritz became synonymous with the perfect drink for the summer evenings.
In 2003, the Campari Group purchased Aperol and transformed the Spritz into a cocktail for the trendy members of Venetian society.
The recipe of the Spritz: the 3-2-1 rule
Italy loves Spritz because of the simplicity of the ingredients.
Today, in fact, the Spritz is made with white wines, usually from the Veneto region, like Prosecco or Pinot Grigio, and a bitter liqueur, like Aperol, Campari, Cynar or Select.
Which is the proportion? Just remember the 3-2-1 rule:
- 3 parts of white wine (like Prosecco);
- 2 parts of a bitter liqueur of your choice;
- 1 part of soda water.
In order to make the perfect drink, you will have to mix all the ingredients in a wine glass and gently stir.
Then, some ice cubes are added in the glass with a green olive or an orange slice.
How to ask for a Spritz in Italy
When we ask for a Spritz, we don't just say "Spritz". It's necessary to define which version of Spritz we like.
So, for example, we say "Spritz Aperol" or "Spritz Campari", depending on which liqueur we want.
The Spritz is so popular in the Venetian culture that sometimes we say "let's have a Spritz" instead of "let's have an aperitif". It's in fact a joyful moment to share with friends or colleagues after work.
In the Veneto region, the tradition asks that barmen, together with Spritz, also offer chips, olives or roasted peanuts, which have to be included in the price.
If you are in Venice, you could also add some cicchetti to spice up your aperitif.
So, needless to say, you can drink Spritz almost anywhere in Italy, but, outside the Veneto region, it will cost you much more.
Typically in Venice (and in Veneto) you pay 3 euros for one glass of Spritz; outside the region, the Spritz can cost you more than 8 euros.
Where to drink the perfect Spritz in Venice
Italians are so proud of this cocktail, as it is made with local products, like the Prosecco, the Soave and, of course, the Aperol.
Almost any bar or restaurant in Venice offers it and you can sip it while watching the lagoon at sunset.
However, there are many ways to enjoy your drink. You can decide to drink it while standing outside a bacaro, or sitting. The choice is just up to you!
Cin cin! (cheers!)