This spritz recipe, featuring Italicus bergamot liqueur, is a taste of summer on the Italian coast. Flavours of citrus shine amongst floral notes, as crisp prosecco meets fragrant rosolio di bergamotto, or bergamot flavoured rosolio, to us Brits.
Described as a ‘sip of Italy’, this liqueur is rooted in centuries of Italian tradition. Based on a family recipe, first crafted in the 1800s, Italicus is a modern take on the Rosolio spirit, which formed the base of many an aperitivo back in the day. Stemming from the Latin “ros solis” - which poetically translates to ‘dew of the sun’ - Rosolio is formed when botanicals are steeped or macerated in alcohol. Sometimes referred to as ‘liquor of the past’, Rosolio was originally produced by Florentine nuns, though later earned favour amongst Italian royals. However, In the nineteenth century, the liquor was banned by King Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia, who shunned rosolio in favour of vermouth. This preference is likely what spurred the decline in popularity of the spirit, which has - thankfully - experienced somewhat of a renaissance, in the form of Italicus.
Indeed, ‘a sip of Italy’ is a fair claim. Produced in Moncalieri, Torino, the liqueur blends ingredients far and wide across il bel paese. Cedro lemons - native to Sicily - are blended with Calabrian bergamot, and chamomile from Lazio, as well as lavender, and yellow rose, among other ingredients. Even the eye-catching bottle is a whisper of Campania’s enviable coast.
While the makers of Italicus typically garnish their drinks with salty olives - reminiscent of the coastal air - to balance the floral note of the liqueur, we can hardly resist our spritz with a juicy, ruby-hued wedge of fresh grapefruit. A unique riff on the classic spritz, the light whisper of citrus in this cocktail, blended with distinct floral notes and refreshing fizz, has us dreaming of the turquoise Sicilian coast. Enjoy al fresco on a hot summer's day, and you might well hear the soft lapping waters of the Mediterranean sea in the distance...
Italicus Spritz Recipe
- 75ml Italicus Bergamot Liqueur
- 75ml prosecco
- Grapefruit slice, to garnish
Tip: if you don’t have a measure to hand, you can always free-pour - you’re looking for a 50/50 ratio of Italicus to prosecco.
- Fill a wine glass or tumbler with Ice.
- Pour 75ml of Italicus into the glass, before adding an equal amount of prosecco.
- Stir lightly to mix, garnish with a slice of grapefruit and serve. Saluti!
Tip: To amplify the citrus of the garnish, add a splash of fresh grapefruit juice to your spritz, for a refreshingly bitter-sweet note.
What better way to complete this homage to Sicily, than with a delicious plate of orecchiette, flecked with colourful and flavoursome broccoli and chilli? For our simple summer recipe, see here. For more ways to bring Sicily to your home this summer, be sure to stop by our ‘Visit Sicily’ page, and order from our limited edition Sicilian menu, available from the 22nd - 28th June.
Will you be joining us on our trip to Sicily? Be sure to share your holiday-at-home snaps on social media using #PastaEvangelists #ItalyatHome.
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