A Celebration of the Spritz

October 12, 2017

It’s official: everyone you know loves to sip on an Aperol Spritz. Trust us, it’s true. Sometime in the last year (or last couple of years – it’s nice to pretend you’re an early adopter of every good trend) rooftop bars, beer gardens and outdoor eateries became a sea of blood orange-coloured cocktails. So, what happened?

Once only the drink of choice for people looking for a good Insta of their European holiday, the spritz is now so popular that it’s become a standard drink order.

Here’s a little background on the sophisticated glass of summer, that’ll provide some impressing talking points next time you whip up a batch for your thirsty mates.

What is it?

Easy – it’s a mix of three parts prosecco (or any dry sparkling wine), two parts Aperol and one part soda water.

Where does it come from?

Even though the Aperol Spritz seems like a fresh and edgy cocktail, it’s actually older than your dotty old uncle who wears Old Spice and always gets you and your brother confused.

Back in 1805, Austria-Hungary took over the Veneto region of northern Italy. Presumably they were overwhelmed by the flavoursome Italian vino, and added a splash of water to the wine before drinking it (or a “spritz” in German). Later on, people began adding sparkling water to their wine. Then they added liqueur. A delicious cocktail was formed.

Aperol didn't come along until 1919, but became super popular with fashionable flappers in the ‘20s. By the 1950s, the fruity apéritif was being combined with prosecco and soda water to the delight of lovers of bitter beverages.

Why is it so popular today? It helps that that Gruppo Campari bought Aperol in 2003 and started marketing it to a younger demographic. Today Aperol is actually the best-selling liquor in Italy.

Why do I need to know about it?

Apart from the fact that it’s absolutely delicious, an Aperol Spritz is a low-alcohol, flavoursome cocktail that screams warm weather. You can also make different varieties; replacing Aperol for Campari or dry white wine for prosecco.

In 2012, Aperol attempted the Guinness World Record for the ‘Largest Aperol Spritz Toast’. More than 2,600 Italians raised their glasses in the Piazza San Marco in Venice, and took out the prize. Bellissimo.