A toast on the blog this week. Say hello to Aperol Spritz a cheeky little Italian apéritif. I first noticed it in Venice. As the sun started to set everywhere I looked people were sipping fluorescent-orange cocktails – in the piazzas and canal-side cafés, in bars, terraces and trattorias. Read on for how to make it, where to buy it and which glass you should serve it in…

Aperol Spritz

Aperol Spritz

Aperol Spritz

Of course I had to try this quirky concoction and it tasted so different from anything I’d ever tasted before – I’d been Spritzed!  Now whenever I’m in Italy I have to treat myself to at least one glass and take a moment while I enjoy a sunset and the gentle bitterness of this unique tipple. I’ve quaffed a spritz in Portofino, Positano and Catania to name a few places and I’ll be sure to have a glass or two when I’m in Venice in September. Yup, the future’s orange!

Aperol Spritz

Where does Aperol Spritz come from?

The Spritz is a legacy from Austria which is why it was originally more popular in northern Italy.  It’s sold in bars and cafés all over the country today and in Spain and the UK too. In fact you can buy Aperol in one of the UK’s leading supermarkets or here online. My Aperol Spritz glass of choice is a large goldfish bowl glass.

Aperol Spritz

Aperol Spritz – Sunshine in a Glass

Aperol Spritz isn’t too alcoholic (11% ABV) so it’s perfect for a pre-dinner drink. It’s made with infusions of sweet and bitter oranges, rhubarb, gentian, herbs and roots – the recipe is a closely guarded secret so I can’t divulge any further. Campari is similar but not as sweet and with a higher alcohol content.

What does Aperol Spritz taste like?

Decidedly delicious; very slightly bitter with a sweet hint of orange and a light tang of herbs. The Prosecco gives it sparkle and the soda water refreshes. It’s Italy’s answer to Pimms. Summer in a glass.

A Tumbler full of Aperol Spritz

Aperol Spritz Recipe

What ingredients make a Spritz?

3 parts Prosecco (75ml)

2 parts of your chosen aperitivo (50ml)

1 part soda water (25ml)

How to Make Aperol Spritz

Start by adding the ice to a large white wine glass or tumbler then pour in the Prosecco and Aperol (or whatever bitter you’re using e.g. Campari). Squirt in the soda water, give it a quick stir, adorn with a slice of fresh orange and you’re ready to spritz.

For greatest effect add a glowing sunset, roof terrace or patio garden. Ideally drink in a Venice bar with a great view of the Grand Canal.

Have you Spritzed in Italy?  What did you think?

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Aperol Spritz