I’ve become completely obsessed in the last 12 months with an Italian aperitif called “Spritz”. Those who follow this blog know I’ve had 3 trips to Italy in the last 12 months alone, and have fallen in love with the food and drinking culture. Prosecco lovers like myself you will be sure to love Spritz, which comes in two key versions: Aperol or Campari. The recipe is simple, over ice in a large wine glass pour 2 parts spirit (Aperol or Campari) 3 parts prosecco (cava or sparkling wine for a substitute) and a dash of soda water with a slice of orange for garnish. The taste is incredibly refreshing on a hot Italian afternoon. Spritz is traditionally served at Apertivo hour, where cocktails in certain Italian regions, particularly Milan, come with assorted free nibbles and snacks from around 4pm-7pm. Both Aperol and Campari have an orange flavour, but Campari has a stronger more bitter taste and higher prof while Aperol is sweeter and lower in alcohol. I suggest starting with Aperol and then working your way up to Campari, if you become a fan the next step up is a strong Americano or Negroni cocktail both also made with Campari. For a weaker version replace Prosecco with soda water.
I first tried Spritz when visiting friends in Asolo near Venice where it is extremely popular due to the area’s vast Prosecco industry, it is in this region that the drink is best and also cheapest. However, for the full apertivo experience try Milan. (See my blog post on Asolo)
Here in London I’ve attended several fun Spritz events, at The Bird Of Smithfield and a Rediscover Red pop-up. Spritz is growing in popularity rapidly so keep an eye out for it on drinks menus near you, you won’t be disappointed.