Just a few weeks after we moved to Italy, Tim and I were having a seaside lunch and I saw a table full of Italians laughing and talking with brightly colored orange drinks in hand. “Scusi!” I called to the waiter and then asked what the drink was in my broken Italian. “Spritz Aperol,” he exclaimed. One for me, please!
Three parts Prosecco, two parts Aperol, a splash of soda water, ice, and a slice of orange, Italians have been sipping on the fizzy apertif since Aperol was presented at the International Fair of Padua in 1919. Aperol is made in Italy by the Campari Company and a Spritz Aperol is a refreshing and light drink with flavors of orange, rhubarb, and herbs. Usually the drink is served with potato chips, which just seem to taste better (as do most things) in Italy.
Venice, Padua, and Trieste all claim to have invented the Spritz, but it’s roots are said to have been born with the Austrian empire, which took over Venice during the early 19th century. As the tale goes, Hapsburg soldiers would water down the strong local wine with a “spritz” of sparkling water.
Spritz Aperol varies from Italian city to Italian city and even from bar to bar. The bright orange drink has even caught on outside of Italy; it’s a German favorite, can be seen all over Monaco, and Aperol began being imported to the United States nearly 10 years ago. We even like to make Spritz Aperol at home. Here’s a little recipe if you’d like to give it a try!
3 oz Prosecco
1 1/2 oz Aperol
Splash of soda water or sparkling water
3-4 ice cubes
thick slice of orange
Fill a white wine glass with the ice. Pour in the Prosecco and then top with the Aperol. Add the soda water and gently stir to mix. Garnish with the orange slice, which will continue to infuse the Spritz Aperol with orange flavor. Serve with potato chips and eat the orange slice!
Have you tried a Spritz Aperol?