It’s the most popular. The most loved, the most imitated, but also the most versatile. The Italian cocktail par excellence, the absolute protagonist of the aperitif ritual.
Colourful, fresh and not too alcoholic. Just what you need for an aperitif with friends. When the sun sinks down on the horizon and the light of the sunset tints the sky pink, nothing is better than a Spritz, especially overlooking the lake in the La DARBIA Garden.
The origin of this famous long drink dates back to the nineteenth century when, in the territory of Lombardy-Veneto, Austrian troops had become accustomed to “lengthening” the local wines, considered too alcoholic, with a splash of sparkling water. The name of the Spritz comes from the German term “spritzen”. But it was in the 1920s that this cocktail took on its definitive form, thanks to the encounter with Aperol, a bold orange drink based on aromatic herbs and citrus fruits, born from the inventiveness and experimentation of the Barbieri brothers.
Today the recipes of the Spritz have really multiplied, each trendy place offers it in several variations, deviating from the classic preparation and experimenting with nuances of flavours enhanced by the creativity of bartenders: ranging from white Spritz, based on still white wine, soda and lemon juice, to variants with Cynar and Campari. In summer I recommend you taste the famous Hugo, a fresh and light variant, thanks to mint leaves and elderflower. Someone also prepares the Spritz in a fruity version, with strawberries, raspberries, candied cherries or peach juice. There really is something for everyone...
Preparing the author's Spritz is not difficult: start by pouring the ice into a wine glass until it reaches the brim. Then pour the prosecco and add the Aperol. Finally, complete with a splash of soda or very sparkling water. Stir gently with the stirrer and garnish with half a slice of orange. Know that the original Venetian recipe had precise proportions: 1/3 of wine, 1/3 of bitters and 1/3 of water or soda. Today the classic version suggests three parts of prosecco and two parts of Aperol.
And then, of course, give free rein to appetisers, the Spritz goes with everything : tasty cheeses and cold cuts, pizzas and focaccia , salmon and avocados, but also bruschetta, sandwiches and pinzimonio. Given the Venetian origin of this drink, it is often served with a selection of typical Venetian cicchetti such as sardines in saor, creamed cod, polenta and moscardini.
And if it is true, as I read recently, that Hippocrates gave his patients flavoured wine to drink to stimulate their appetite, then let's dedicate ourselves serenely to the ritual of the aperitif, let's meet friends for a carefree toast, let's enjoy the Spritz and the spirit of summer!