Aperol Spritz is the drink which most of all symbolizes one of the most classic Italian rituals: aperitivo!
Aperitivo is not just having a drink with some stuzzichini (appetizers), for us Italians is a way of living, a philosophy. Mainly people outside of Italy associate aperitivo to happy hour, but this is indeed too reductive. Happy hour generally indicates a certain moment of the day during which drinks cost less than usual, and nothing more. Yes, sure, it is great to have discounts on drink, but this really doesn’t give a proper idea of a REAL aperitivo!
So, how can I explain? Aperitivo is a moment of glory and inspiration that every working person waits for all his/her working day in the office, a habit for any university student after class time, a moment that brings together friends and family. As Italians have dinner around 9 pm, usually the perfect aperitivo time is between 6.30 pm and 9 pm. Everything is about relaxing and enjoying a good time with your loved ones, sipping a good glass of prosecco, Campari, Negroni, or my favorite one…Spritz!
Contrarily to happy hour, for aperitivo normally you pay a little bit more, because together with the drink you have access to a buffet or to some snacks that help you resisting until dinner time! Prices of course vary depending on what is offered. In Bologna for example, for 7 euros at Caffé Zamboni you have a drink and free access to all their buffet (which is huge). On the contrary, in Brindisi at Caffé Gino you receive a tray filled with little delicious snacks – focaccia bites, pizzette, olives, panzerotti (I can’t describe the deliciousness of those ones). It’s very important to understand that aperitivo changes depending on where you are in Italy, but should you go anywhere in Italy, don’t miss this opportunity to get so close to the local culture. You will see people relaxing and socializing, chatting and laughing…above all in summer, this is really a magic moment.
Among all drinks that you can have – and you can have so many – Spritz is for sure my favorite, the true symbol and the essence of Italian aperitivo, and for sure the most common choice. Great as icebreaker, it contributes to create the particular lively atmosphere common during aperitivi. It’s not too strong, colorful, fresh, with that orange note that makes it so perfect for the hot season – but honestly, I like it all year round! The origin of this drink is to be found in Venice, and a legend reports that this drink saw its origin during the austrian domination, when Austrian soldiers started to dilute Venetian wine with sparkling water. Today you can’t absolutely exclude the third element of this successful equation – Aperol.
Aperol is an alcoholic aperitivo, characterized by a red-orange colour, an alcohol content of 11%, less than its friend Campari, and although the recipe from its producer Barbieri is still secret, we know for sure that the ingredients include orange, gentian, rhubarb and other herbs. It was invented in 1919 but became very popular after World War II, thanks also to the massive advertising campaigns organized by Barbieri.
Seriously, no aperitivo can start without a Spritz! Let’s see together how to make it – not really a recipe, I would say. This wonderful drink is so easy to make that the preparation requires maximum 5 minutes. There are different school of thoughts on the proportion to use, but my Venetian friends say the following one is the right one, so who am I to disagree?
APEROL SPRITZ RECIPE
1 part Aperol
1 part Prosecco (sparkling white wine)
1 part soda/sparkling water
slices of orange
Start by cutting the orange in small slices. Mix together 1 part of Aperol, 1 part Prosecco and 1 part of sparkling water. For 8 servings I used a proportion of 2,5 fluid oz (75 ml), so for more or less people you can use this proportion to make the calculations.
Divide the Spritz in glasses/goblets , add 5/6 ice cubes in each glass, then add some orange slices.
Serve immediately, better if with some nice snacks and have a good time 🙂
Aperol Spritz - the feel-good Italian Aperitivo
Aperol Spritz is the typical Italian drink for aperitivo time! Fresh, colorful and with an orange note, it will be your favorite for party time.
- 1 part Aperol
- 1 part Prosecco (sparkling white wine)
- 1 part soda/sparkling water
- orange slices
- ice cubes
- Step 1 Start by cutting the orange in small slices.
- Step 2 Mix together 1 part of Aperol, 1 part Prosecco and 1 part of sparkling water. For 8 servings I used a proportion of 2,5 fluid oz (75 ml), so for more or less people you can use this proportion to make the calculations.
- Step 3 Divide the Spritz in glasses/goblets.
- Step 4 Add 5/6 ice cubes in each glass, then add some orange slices.
- Step 5 Serve immediately, better if with some nice snacks.