APEROL SPRITZ IS THE MOST COMMONLY DRUNK APERITIF IN ITALY:
When strolling around St. Marks Square or around the restaurant districts of Venice, a common drink that we see people enjoying is Aperol Spritz. This almost glowing bright orange drink is the most commonly drunk apéritif in Italy, but where it is most consumed is in Venice and the Veneto region.
Made from bitter and sweet oranges, rhubarb and infused with a range of herbs, Aperol is a citrusy and slightly bitter apéritif, rather like Campari in taste and smell. However, as the label indicates, Aperol is ‘poco alcolico’ and has about half the alcohol content of Campari and the liqueur is distinctively orange in colour whereas Campari is a dark red.
Aperol was invented by the Barbieri brothers in Padova in 1919, but it is now in the Campari Group stable of alcoholic beverages. Although the liqueur became popular after the war, it was since the Campari Group’s acquisition of Aperol in 2003 and the Group’s aggressive advertising campaigns that Aperol became an international success. Their ad campaigns and sponsorships associating the drink with art, fashion and lifestyle and Moto GP appeal to the young and trendy. Manchester United club members have Aperol as their “Official Global Spirits Partner” for the next couple of years.
What’s a Spritz
The Spritz Veneziano has its origin during the period when Venice was under the domination of the Habsburg Empire. It seems that the soldiers, merchants, diplomats and others who came to the Veneto region quickly got used to drinking in the local taverns, but were unaccustomed to the strong wines made in their Italian territories. They would ask for a dash of water to be added to the wine (spritzen in German) to dilute it a little.
The Venetian Spritz was based on the original Austrian Spritz which was a sparkling white wine or red wine, diluted with equal amount of natural water, but when soda water became widely available, it was then possible to make a sparkling Spritz using still wine. These days a Spritz is an alcohol-based cocktail made with bitter liqueur and a splash of soda and when ordering a Spritz you’ll need to indicate what your preferred liqueur is … which brings us to Aperol Spritz.
Aperol Spritz Recipe
According to the company’s publicity campaign, making an Aperol Spritz is as easy as 3-2-1, that is: 3 parts Prosecco, 2 parts Aperol and 1 part soda. Although on the Aperol website, they show Cinzano Prosecco (which the Campari Group happens to own), in fact any prosecco will do.
When next in Venice, the perfect aperitif to have is Aperol Spritz. And as you can see from this image of the Cafe Lavena in St Mark’s Square, not even an Acqua Alta will stop people from enjoying this drink.