What is an Aperol spritz?
No cocktail is quite as synonymous with lo Stivale as the Aperol spritz, a concoction of bitter orange aperitif, prosecco and soda water. Sipped from the fashionable streets of Milan in the north, to the coastal haven on Positano in the south, this iconic spritz is not only beloved in Italy, but has a loyal fan base worldwide.
While Veneto is the birthplace of many classic Italian cocktails, including the bellini and sgroppino, the drink that best encapsulates the vibrant and romantic city is - without question - the Aperol spritz. Venetians have been enthralled by the bitter orange tipple for years.
The ‘spritz’ title now almost exclusively conjures images of the aperitivo, though the original ‘spritz’ dates back as far as the 1800s, when Venice was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Visitors across the empire descended on Venezia, though reportedly found Italian wines too strong, opting to top their tipple with a ‘spritz’ (derived from the German “spritzen”, meaning splash) of water.
It wasn’t until 1919 that Aperol was born - after years spent experimenting with a recipe, Luigi and Silvio Barbieri debuted the now-iconic apéritif. By the 1950s, the Aperol spritz was commonplace in the hands of Venetian natives, and spread throughout both Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire - don’t be surprised to see an icy glass of spritz in the snowy peaks of Austria to this day!
Aperol spritz recipe
- 3 parts prosecco (75ml)
- 2 parts Aperol (50ml)
- 1 part soda (25ml)
Watch our Head Chef Roberta make the perfect Aperol Spritz in our video guide.
- Fill a large wine glass with ice.
- Add 75ml Prosecco to the glass, followed by 50ml of Aperol. Top with a splash of soda water (25ml), and stir gently to combine.
- Garnish with a slice of orange, and serve. Salute!
What better way to complete this homage to Veneto, than with a sumptuous bowl of Venetian duck ragu?