Spritz

spritz

Cocktail culture has sort of landed in Paris. I like cocktails but for some reason it just doesn’t seem right to drink them here. Perhaps it’s cultural since France is more known for as a country for wine and beer drinking rather than downing Screwdrivers, Cosmopolitans, and straight-up Martinis. A few cocktail places have opened where I’m told they serve decent drinks, and Mojitos have become omnipresent during les happy hours, but if you order a Martini in a bistro you’re almost certain to get a class of red Martini & Rossi with a dinky ice cube idling away on the surface.

And I have memories of trying to explain to a very confused café waiter how to make a martini for some guests who just had to have one before lunch. And even though I warned them away, out came a shot glass with one ice cube and some straight gin poured over it.

Campari

Tip: Not that I’m a cocktail expert, but if the waiter or bartender doesn’t know the kind of drink you’re ordering, I don’t recommend ordering one. Aside from a well-known aversion to icy drinks (I’ve been told they can freeze your stomach…ouch!), in their defense, ordering a cocktail in a French bistro is like going into TGIFridays and asking them to make you Bouillabaisse. Just because they have some fish in the refrigerator—or freezer—doesn’t mean that they’re going to whip you up a decent bowl of the classic fish soup.

I’ve been reading Boozehound by Jason Wilson, who writes the spirits column for The Washington Post, who I met last year when I visited Cognac. I got a good laugh at his story about going to Tuscany and being unable to find anyone drinking or even knowing what Tuaca was, which reminded me of trying to find a café in Paris shortly after I arrived a few years back that even knew what Lillet was. (A being served a tall glass of milk, instead.)

spritz

I don’t know all that much about spirits, which Jason notes came about because some people see ‘spirits’ when drinking them. (I’ve not seen any spirits when drinking but do know that in my everyday life, I don’t have any problems seeing things that aren’t actually there.) But the book piqued my curiosity because I am as intrigued and interested as he is in the regional lore wrapped up in some of the lesser-known liquors.

But there’s also a lot of fantasy surrounding some of them. I loved the story about people believing publicity that showed herbs and elderflowers picked by beret-wearing men on bicycles in the mountains of the Savoie, which cause a long and hearty laugh from someone at the liquor company, in the mountains of the Savoie.

Jason isn’t afraid to speak his mind, which is another reason I found the book enjoyable enough to lend a quote for the back cover. He explains why dry martinis aren’t any good (and hoping that we can retire jokes about “…just waving unopened bottles of vermouth near the glass”, which really are no longer amusing) and gets a few digs in about how the hipster movement sparked the faux speakeasy in America—I never realized that serious cocktail bars banned vodka but perhaps I’m a keychain-dangling hipster because I’ve grown weary of vodka-based cocktails myself. Jason is more of a traditionalist rather than a snob and simply favors basic cocktails like Sazeracs, Manhattans and a Sloe Gin Fizz made in the classical tradition and with the right liquors.

glasses

The book got me hankering for a cocktail. If I’m reading a cookbook, I’ll usually start bookmarking recipes and often find myself shortly thereafter rifling through my kitchen cabinets looking for the right pan or gathering ingredients. While reading Boozehound, I wanted to shake and stir up a few of the drinks right away but realized how understocked my liquor shelf is when it comes to fixing classic cocktails. I’ve been tinkering with the ideal of turning this into a cocktail blog, but I don’t know if my liver could keep up with all the recipe testing involved.

spritz

Even though there aren’t instructions in the book for the Spritz, I’ve been wanted to make them at home ever since I learned about them when I was in Trieste, Italy learning to make coffee. The base is a liquor called Aperol and—of course, I looked through literally fourteen stores, zig-zagging Paris trying to find it. When I did come across one lonesome bottle, the €28 ($38) price tag kind of knocked me for a loop; it’s about $20 in America. Since France shares a border with Italy, I was curious as to why the price was so much higher. When I asked the Italian shopkeeper, she said “Les taxes! Les taxes!”

Then we had a discussion on how to correctly pronounce “Spritz” in Italian (it’s kind of like schvitz, without the ‘p’) and I bought a bottle of Campari from her that was also about 50% more than it costs in supermarkets because it’s less-sweet than Aperol. And also because I kind of felt like a weenie asking her why something in the shop was so expensive.

spritz

Because it’s Italian, it’s normal to use Prosecco in a Spritz, but any sparkling wine will do—no need to use fancy Champagne. Spanish cava, crémant, or a California sparkler are all fine. I chose Campari which is quite bitter and although I like it, if you’re looking for something less tangy do try to find Aperol, which will also make the Spritz more orange than red.

This is a great drink for the holidays since it’s not overly potent—so you can keep your stamina going during cocktail parties. Plus I find the red color quite festive. And to celebrate my reunion with the Spritz, I think I’ll pour a few extra this season.


Spritz
1 aperitif

I first had a Spritz when I was in Trieste, Italy. The bars were packed at happy hour, or apertivo, which is because the bars put out copious amount of snacks to go with all the drinks and you’re welcome to help yourself. Everyone was drinking large wine goblets half-filled with ice, with a bright orange drink in it, so I ordered my first Spritz. And then my second.

Aperol is made with sweet and bitter oranges, but if you can’t get it, try another aperitivo like Campari or ask (nicely) at a knowledgable liquor store. Campari is pretty strong so I use less of it, but you can customize to taste. No need to use a fancy sparkling wine or Champagne; another sparkling wine will do just fine. Be sure to use plenty of ice!

  • 2 ounces (40ml) Aperol or 1 ounce (20ml) Campari
  • 3 to 4 ounces (60ml-90ml) Prosecco
  • sparkling water
  • orange slice

1. Fill glass* generously with ice cubes.

2. Pour in Aperol or Campari, then add Prosecco.

3. Add a splash of sparkling water and a slice of orange.

*The first time I had this drink, they were served in very large oversized wine goblets, which was really festive. Although I’ve seen them served in large on-the-rocks glasses, I prefer stemmed glasses, which also makes the icy drinks easier to hold.

Recipes and Related Links

Holiday Snack Mix

Sidecars

Cognac

Aperol Spritz (The Italian Dish)

Jason Wilson (Author’s website)

Guide to Italian Aperitivo and Drinks in Italy (Ms. Adventures in Italy)

How to Make an Irish Coffee

The Coopers of Cognac

Strawberry Vodka


83 comments

  • I love a good cocktail especially the mojitos!! Loved this post on cocktails David

  • I have not had a drink with Campari in such a long time… must be time for me to shift away from red wine for a while, eh?

  • This is my favorite. Especially with Aperol. The first time I had it, I was sitting with some Italian friends in the main square in Udine (north of Venice). My friend Luciana ordered it for me and, with the accompanying salty olives and chips on the table and I fell in love with this cocktail. I have never looked back. I also like it with just sparkling water, a dash of bitters and a lime. Yum.

  • I always make it with Campari because of that lovely bitter aftertaste (Aperol is, as you said, a bit too sweet), and also stronger by adding a dash of gin to the rest of the ingredients. Great drink, here is how I make it: http://cucinadelsole.typepad.com/the_sunny_kitchen/2008/05/spritz-one-of-t.html

  • Hi David,
    I’m from Padua (near Venice) and we all love Spritz, with Aperol, with Campari and also with Select (typical Venetian aperitivo http://www.selectaperitivo.it/).

    Enjoy your spritz

    Stefano

  • Got to have some of those adorable stemmed glasses :)

  • Great post, and gorgeous photos (as always!). I wish I liked spritzes more than I do. I keep trying. But they always just seem a bit…wimpy? I do love campari though, and really love Negronis. And for something a bit less strong than a Negroni, try a Negroni Sbagliato. Now that you have all the ingredients…
    http://www.elizabethminchilliinrome.com/2010/04/italian-cocktails_25.html

  • God bless the clever soul who invented Campari!

    Enough said.

  • had this for the first time in Zurich with Aperol …. num num num …. love it!

  • Spritz is a very popular drink here in northern Germany, too, particularly in summer. A bottle of Campari or Aperol runs around 11 or 12 Euro (so I guess 15 or 16 USD).

    I can’t recall ever having seen it on a menu at a bar, but it’s often served as a small pre-dinner cocktail in restaurants or at publicity events when the sparkling wine is not necessarily the best, usually without ice or orange slice, served in a tiny sparkling wine glass.

    At home or a private party you would make it with ice and orange, usually, and use a good sparkling wine or prosecco, often served in a big red wine glass.

  • Have you tried Cynar? Made of artichoke?! (Also Italian, not as well known, so maybe even more expensive in Paris, but it’s delicious!!) I love (and miss) spritz and other cocktails, but abstaining from alcohol is a small price to pay while nursing… Glad to see some people are enjoying it!

  • I had my first Spritz in Trento, it came in a large wine glass with masses of sparkly cocktail fireworks, how could I not love it?! Unfortunately, at the time I was living further south, near Bologna, and this drink was something of a rarity so I only ever got to have them up north.

    I think I need to hunt down a bottle of Campari and get my Spritz on this Christmas!

  • I’ve never been big of cocktails as I often find them too sweet (although pretty! So pretty!), but I like the sound of this one. Refreshingly alcoholic, mmm!

  • I also had my first Spritz while visiting Italy. I definately prefer the Aperol version. Aperol is not sold in Pennsylvania, at all. I know because a clerk looked it up on the LCB computer. I have not been able to fin it in New Jersey, either. I stock up on my favorite liquer in Florida. The bigger stores keep about 3 bottles on the shelves. It is about 25.00 per bottle.
    Aperol is delicious mixed with a squeeze of fresh orange and a very inexpensive Pinot Grigio called Mommy’s Helper(not kidding). It does give you a nasty headache if you decide to have more than one or two.

  • Maureen: I know laws vary from state-to-state in the US, but I have seen it online so you might be able to find it that way. I do like Campari because it’s bitter, and it’s much more available here, too.

    Tamsin: The first time I had a Spritz it was in a big wine goblet, but most I’ve seen since were in shorter glasses. I do think it needs a stemmed glass, though.

    Nicole: I’ve not tried Cynar but know it’s quite bitter. I love the idea of a liquor made with artichokes!

    Sid: When I was in Berlin a while back I noticed a lot of Italian products available there that aren’t available in Paris. Mainly there was a lot of Prosecco on offer, which I’m seeing more and more of here. I like it and it’s a good (and less expensive) alternative to Champagne in drinks like this.

  • Love the idea of cutting the campari with some bubbles. I am a huge negroni fan, but it’s really quite problematic to drink them with gusto, my head hates me in the morning. This sounds great!

  • I’ve never actually had a Spritz before, but it sounds perfectly delightful! Although I have to say…anything with Prosecco has my heart anyway.

  • I am such a girl when it comes to cocktails. I like’em a little sweet and fruity. Everyone makes fun of me, but I like what I like. This, I think I could like. I used to love having a cocktail in a restaurant while waiting for dinner. It really does pick up your appetite and aids in relaxing you for dinner and more lively conversation. They’re just so ridiculously expensive at nice (or even less nice) restaurants now. Cocktails fell out of vogue for a while when breweries became theme restaurants and spirits were gaining favor for their own brewed flavors, not as mixers. It was a dull time for me, who doesn’t really like to taste the booze! I don’r really drink anymore, but if cocktails are coming back..so am I, maybe!

  • wow, the spritz! A family favourite. We belong to the Campari coalition. (How come that we Italians always manage to polarize over everything? Including what booze to put on our spritz… )

  • Spritz! Vacationing in Rome over the summer I kept seeing people drinking these fantastic-looking cocktails, all orange and glinty in the sunlight. I had to have one but had no clue what it was. After several trial and errors I did finally discover its name and from then on, every cafe stop started with an Aperol Spritz. We drank them across the country, from Rome to Naples to Venice to Tuscany. It’s now synonymous with Italy for me. I got my bottle at the duty free for 15 euro, I think? Haven’t seen it in the US yet.

    Thanks for the post! Got me all nostalgic for Italy again.

  • To Maureen, check out Sherry-Lehmann in NYC if you are close enough—or if your state allows you to order and have it delivered,try that. I was on their Web site Friday and seem to recall seeing it there. And, I’ve seen it on the shelf in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Considered buying it, but as a long time Campari drinker I opted otherwise.

    As I’m formerly from Pennsylvania, I know very well about the lousy offerings—or lack thereof—in the ancient state store system that exists there.

  • Sounds like we have yet another item to send in our contraband truck that should cross the border every month. I’ll send coffee, campari/Aperol…you send back pain au chocolat, salted caramels and chevre-broccoli quiches :)

  • I love Spritzers!! Very refreshing on a hot summers day, but to my taste it’ll do any day :-D. I make mine with Aperol and Prosecco, but you can also make them with Crodino and Prosecco!

  • J’dore Negroni Sbagliato… I’ve been ordering them all over town and playing “Stump the Bartender”

  • “Tip: Not that I’m a cocktail expert, but if the waiter or bartender doesn’t know the kind of drink you’re ordering, I don’t recommend ordering one. ”

    So true, I once got a “mojito” that was creme de menth and sprite.

  • I have to say, David, that I was all revved up for a post on cookies! ;)

  • I would also like to know more about the glasses. how lovely.

  • david i love spritz with aperol.. its amazing…

  • Get the Aperol it’s worth it, compliments the orange perfectly. Campari doesn’t. Also, put the Prosecco over the ice first, then add Aperol/Camp. The Ap/Camp has a heavier specific gravity than prosecco will sink (quickly) into the prosecco and the drink will mix itself

  • Right before I left New York to come to St. Louis I was finding that “punch” was very popular in the fancy cocktail joints there – you’d order a punch bowl full of a concoction at your table with kitchy punch mugs/glasses and you shared with your friends. I was recently at Goodwill and came across a punch bowl set and now I just need a recipe for a punch cocktail to mix for it. Run across any punch recipes you like?

  • I had my first Spritz in a tiny bar in Venice – a great drink in a beautiful location.

    The version we had though was a bit different:
    Aperol
    Ice
    white wine
    sparkling water
    and a green olive

    Still one of my favorite drinks and have made it for lots of friends since who love it just as much.

  • Nina: That’s so funny. I can’t imagine a green olive in this drink, but I guess I shouldn’t knock it until I try it.

    ssommerhalter: You’re right, although I just give it a little stir to mix it up~

    Miss Cupcake: I bought them at a brocante (sidewalk vintage sale) in Paris up in the 18th a few years ago. I have 8 of them..and love them!

  • How are the mojitos there? Thanks for the spritzer recipe. It loks so refreshing…can’t wait to try it out.
    Love your blog, btw.
    xo,
    Lourdes

  • You need to come here, to New Orleans, the birthplace of cocktails. And when would be more appropriate than during the conference “Tales of the Cocktail” when bartenders and imbibers from all over come to ‘test’ them? (Just don’t test too many.)

  • This is going to be our Christmas aperitivo, thanks David! We always have Campari in the house for impromtu cocktails – Negronis or Americanos. Personally, I think nothing tops an elegant flute of Champagne for an opener any time. But this Spritz has all the look and feel of Christmas. Great idea. I love to have a house cocktail ready and waiting to hand to guests.

  • That’s so funny that you posted about Campari… I was making a cocktail tonight and was wishing I had some! Great cocktails… wonderful post!

  • I started to read this post with interest, until I got disappointed, but remained curious. I am originally from Eastern Europe and in my birthplace (come to think of it, also in Israel), if you were drinking a Spritz, you were enjoying a cool combination of a pretty good wine (mostly white) diluted either with sparkling water or other carbonated drink. Usually served with a twist of lime, lemon or other citrus fruit an sometimes fresh mint. Most recently, however, the combination appears to be modernized to using tropical fruit, wine with tropical fruit juice, but always served with bubbles.

  • The only time I’ve tried Aperol was in Ravenna, but it was served in a small liqueur glass straight. I couldn’t understand why anyone would like it (orange flavored cough syrup). A spritz made with it sounds good, however.

  • My husband and I tried these for the first time in Venice at various local bars – so good!

  • I think it must be because we are coming into the Christmas season. I have been mixing up cocktails for a couple of weeks now in anticipation of parties to come. It does become a rather expensive habit. Thank you for reminding me I need Campari…

  • I have loved Campari and soda for a zillion years. I once read an article about Marcello Mastroianni saying that he claimed to drink Negronis just after getting out of bed in the morning. Since I was madly in love with him, I had to try it. Pretty nice, although I like just plain Campari and soda better. That bitterness is just something special.

  • David Darling, those are quite possibly the sexiest little glasses I’ve ever seen!

    “He explains why dry martinis aren’t any good” – I love him already, I will get the book.

    “…the story about people believing publicity that showed herbs and elderflowers picked by beret-wearing men on bicycles in the mountains of the Savoie, which cause a long and hearty laugh…” — okay, I’m crestfallen. The bottle is too beautiful, so I should have guessed, but I do like the liqueur; it’s delightful. Shame on them, shame on me.

    How does one properly sing the praises of Campari? Or a truly excellent Vermouth? A little behind each ear before I go out…

    smiles,
    jvw

  • Smiling as I was reading your post and enjoying the beauty of the photos; remembering how in my days people used to order “un cinzano, s’il vous plaît”
    tried Pimm’s this summer, courtesy of my English cousin

  • No hang on a second. I’ve had many a fine cocktail in Paris bistros, including discovering a number of years back what has become one of my favorite: The Parisian Americano

    1.5 oz Lillet Blanc

    1.5 oz Lillet Rouge

    1. 5 oz Campari

    Slice of orange

    Serve over ice.

    Damned if I can remember the name of the first place I had this – some side street cafe near the Arc de Triomph, but I have proceeded to drink variations all over northern France. It is quite good…

  • Yes! We love Campari! We always have a laugh when we drink it because our friend Terri said “it tastes like dirt.”
    We make this drink with an added bit of gin and it knocks everyone on their butts. Very tasty though!
    ~J&K

  • Combination of spritz with aperol is awesome and unique. I love it. Thank you for sharing this post. Very informative & interesting.

  • I’m with Jess–I saw “Spritz” and thought cookies. Got a good Spritz cookie recipe? I’ve begun the holiday baking frenzy–just pulled a second sheet of rugelach out of the oven and it’s not yet 8.
    Cheers!

  • Ask for a PIMM’s in Los Angeles and you will be looked at like you asked an unfair question. Whilst the french are not known for their cocktails they do understand simplicity.

  • Linda H: That was another reason I went with Campari. Aside from the price… I do like the Aperol Spritz but my tastes run more toward the bitter.

    Le Capitaine: I’m not sure what the difference between an apéritif and cocktail is, but I would agree that the French have quite a varied apéritif culture. Speaking of cocktails, Jason did talk about the time he went to the famed Hemingway bar at the Ritz in Paris and had a €30 [$39] cocktail…and was astonished to see the bartender used bottled, not fresh, fruit juice…

    And in any café, there are a wide variety of things like Martini & Rossi, Picon, and similar spirits, on offer. But that’s interesting that the drink you described is called a “Parisian” since very few people I’ve encountered in Paris know what Lillet is. Interestingly, Jason talks a bit about a French vermouth that is supposed to be the best in the world, called Dolin, which I’ve not seen—but should try to track down…

    Kristie: That is a good description of the taste!

  • How timely is your recipe?! We just returned from Venice, and I couldn’t stop drinking the Spritz! Thanks for the recipe using either Campari (imagine the flavour will be slightly more bitter + more alcohol content) or Aperol. This will make for a festive addition to the Christmas cocktail list this year.

  • I,too, saw this in my email and was expecting cookies (which I will be making shortly), but truth be told, this Spritz sounds infinitely more interesting. I am on the Aperol hunt now.

  • A few months ago I bumped into my plumber in a bar in Northern Tuscany near where I live. It was 11 in the morning and because he is from the Venice region where there are no taboos about drinking alcohol in the morning he insisted we had a spritz (my original intention was a caffè macchiato). He asked the barmaid to serve 50 50 “Campari soda” and light white wine. It was really good and refreshing as it was rather warm.
    Campari is obviously easy to find here and also cheap. In Italy one can also buy little bottles of “Campari soda” a pre mixed drink. Aperol, which I also find too sweet, has became more popular in recent years thanks to an intensive advertising campaign.
    It was a great post David. Thank you again
    Reagards
    Enzo

  • My new favorite cocktail is equal parts Cointreau, fresh orange juice and fizzy water, yum! Since Cointreau is (made with oranges and bitter oranges) is made here in France, it’s easy to find. It’s not only Lillet that’s hard to find in France, I often ask for Dubonnet at apero time and get the same reaction. Thanks for this post, David!

  • A number of “apéritifs” seem more famous abroad than in their French native land. Here indeed Lillet has become rather unknown (it used to be popular 50 years ago), Noilly Prat is not so famous either…
    I am not sure why. Maybe these brands find less competition in other countries, or have great US distributors!

    As for the difference between apéritif and cocktail, apéritif is a drink (usually alcoholic) that you would have before a meal, and usually a “single” component (Campari, Champagne, gin…). While a cocktail is typically a mix, and is not necessarily before a meal…Campari is not a cocktail, Mojito is one.

  • Djinnz: I was surprised to learn that only 3% of the people in France drink digestives after dinner, according to a French liquor company. I think drinks like Cognac, Armagnac, etc, go in and out of style. As you mentioned, Mojitos are now wildly popular in Paris, I think because of the current fascination with anything Cuban.

    In his book, Jason actually has a discussion with a French calvados producer about the French vs. American consumption of calvados which is pretty interesting.

    Connie: I do want to find a bottle of that vermouth I mentioned above. I bet it’s really delicious.

    Enzo: Thanks! Glad you liked the post..it was fun mixing up the drinks for it : )

  • Oh, you beat me to it. I finally nabbed a bottle of Aperol in Seattle. We can’t get it here in Canada. I had my first spritz on the canal in Venice and then many more on that trip to Italy last year. I love it, although crave it more in hot weather, probably because it put me back to those warm, sunny time before dinner enjoying one of these. One with campari for me and one with aperol for my husband. I agree, cocktails with fewer ingredients let those ingredients shine.

  • David, Dolin vermouth is made here in Chambéry, Savoie. The dry white isn’t bad, has a slightly brownish tinge to it though which kind of puts me off. Also, I got started on vermouth with Martini Dry, which is completely colourless and incidentally bloody difficult to find in France. Occasionally at Carrefour, but I’ve never seen it in a bar. Come to that I can’t find Tanqueray gin either. But many years ago I did come across some angostura bitters at Hédiard – still got the bottle sitting away somewhere. Goes to show how many pink gins I drink.

  • Have got to agree David, really enjoyed your ‘Cocktail’ post. Me? Love a good Mojitos :)

  • Yes, cocktails in France are terrible. Even a basic rum and coke or vodka soda is somehow just awful when ordered there. But who cares when there is such good (and inexpensive) wine to be had?

  • Hi David!, I love the cocktail, but my post its not about that. I received your book recently by Amazon, and I am being trying some recipes and all the ones that I have tried so far are just PERFECT!!! The creme brulee of tea (I did it with the au tibet from Mariage Freres) was soooo good, the pavlovas (I never got them 100% right until now), the sponge cake I used to make a layered cake with Dulce de leche, walnuts and rum, and I could go on and on… Just wanted to say thanks!

    You really have change the way I cook and eat (I live in a small town and there aren’t many bakeries), one small question could you make a recipe of “Ile flottante”?

  • Hi, David: I’m with Nina! I had my first spritz in Venice and it was served with a slice of orange and a big green olive. I also had the choice of Aperol or Campari. I choose the Campari as I like it more bitter. My understanding about the olive is that the Spritz is something people began drinking as an aperitivo in the early evening before their dinner and the olive serves as a little “chiccetti” to the drink. I still make them at home once in a while in tumblers I bought in Venice. Cheers, Ed

  • Looks and sounds wonderful – thanks for sharing!

  • I vacationed in Itay this summer, and I drank my share of Aperol spritz during my travels. Your post has gotten me to reminisce about vacation, and now I’m craving a spritz!

    Cheers!

  • campari? oranges? the perfect combination to send away the winter blues.

  • I’m another who read spritz and thought cookies. But with the fits my cookie press gives me each Decenber, I think pairing the cocktail and the cookie my be in order!

  • Cocktails these days are getting way too complicated, what with wasabi foam and dried lemon thyme. Isn’t the old fashioned mint julep served anymore? I love simple ones like this – just 3 or 4 ingredients suffices!

  • Funny you should mention Aperol (which I’d never heard of until last month). It’s Esquire magazine’s new cocktail poster child: http://www.esquire.com/features/drinking/esquire-cocktail-formula-1110

  • Most definitely a cocktail for the season, the color is gorgeous as are the photos.

  • Hi David,
    It’s true!! its by the English name, Floating Island, I didn´t realize before. The sweet life in Paris i have it full of post-it’s for quick access to my favorite recipes but until now i did’t notice that was also ile flotant XD, Thanks!

  • Hi David,

    I have heard the cocktail pronounced “spriss” in the Veneto. The recipe is correct. You could try adding a squeeze of orange or lemon juice, a slice of citrus and a green olive.

    Another drink which has taken us over is the Carloni (drunk in a Florentine bar, can’t find other references)

    A little gin
    ice
    mostly fill the rest of the glass with pink grapefruit juice
    sweeten to taste with sugar syrup
    add ice and some cut up and bruised citrus (lemon, lime, orange and or mandarin)

    these disappear quite quickly…

  • just saw Nina’s comment, maybe it was the same bar! the green olive and a slice of orange were really great additions. Adding some perrier or san pellegrino increases the sparkle over just prosecco alone

  • So great to see that others have enjoyed this drink in Venice!
    And even if you cant take Venice home with you its nice ot have a tast of it with a Spritz!

  • What a great post! Spritz is my favorite! And you inspired me to finally finish the “spritz” post I had in the works for the last few months:
    http://cucinagirl.blogspot.com/2010/12/lo-spritz-allaperol.html

    Also, for Americans looking for Aperol, there’s a store locator on the Aperol website (which I link to in the above post).

    Thanks David!

  • I enjoy Campari with red vermouth and soda water on hot summer days here in Madrid.
    But I’m now addicted to Pernot and water with plenty of ice when it’s 40º in the shade here.

  • David, .i just made my first Sprtiz and I LOVE it!! Thank you for introducing me to my new favorite cocktail. Perfect antidote for gray winter weather.

  • It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in my love for this shockingly vibrant colored apéritif. I first discovered it while touring in the Lake Garda region of northern Italy, just west of Venice where some claim it originated. Not only is it my favorite summer apéritif but it makes every photograph I took in the region look like a photo shoot for Saveur Magazine! I even began searching out clothing to match it!

  • I have to confess I have loved that sweet/bitter taste of Campari since I was a kid–and I know the soft drink known as “Bitter” that they sell in Italy is an approximation attempt! I’ve always kept a bottle around but hardly ever have any now–I’m more a “cocktail” type than I am an “aperitif” type, but these drinks look so delicious I’m going to try.

    I agree with the definition given above, regarding the difference between aperitif (which “opens” the appetite) and a cocktail (which is just a drink to be had regardless of the proximity of food or a meal). Someone suggested Cynar earlier in the comments–and this is another delicious bitter drink I always keep on hand. I’ve always been taught to think of Cynar as a “digestif”, like Fernet Branca or even Amaro Siciliano–something you have after dinner to help your stomach settle nicely.

    All good.

  • €28 for a bottle of Aperol! Wow! They sell it at my local supermarket for €6 here in Rome. But I guess it’s worth it, I love spritzing the night away!

  • bartender from Venice says:
    1/3 white vine or prosecco
    1/3 aperol, or campari, or cynar, or zucca or select
    1/3 soda water.

  • So where to dine on January 2, 2010. Try as I might to contemplate activities between New Years and January 6 when my wife and I head back to warm Sourthern California, very little is posted…anywhere. Any suggestions amongst your readers?

    Thanks for the blog, by the way

    Joe

  • I remember futilely trying to find something cold to drink in France during summer trips. This is why I believe you spontaneously and immediately became a french citizen when you wrote the phrase “Aside from a well-known aversion to icy drinks (I’ve been told they can freeze your stomach…ouch!)”

  • Speaking of French liqueurs I can’t find in France. Does anyone have a clue where to get Chambord? Weirdest thing- I thought it’d be *easy* to find (and it’s so expensive in the US there was no way I was going to bring it back, hence my quest).
    Thanks!