Spritz, the refreshing and iconic Italian aperitif

Spritz che passione! Fresco, colorato e protagonista indiscusso dell’aperitivo

Spritz is one of the most popular and appreciated Italian cocktails, an iconic drink all over the world.

Its vibrant orange/red color, the low-alcoholic recipe (with only 90 calories) and the universally loved taste, neither too sweet nor too bitter, are just a few of the many reasons why it is such a popular drink.

The Origins of the Italian Favourite Pre-Dinner Cocktail

Spritz has an incredible story of over two hundred years.

The favourite Italian pre-dinner cocktail is named after the German word “Spritzen” which means “splash”. Indeed, during the 19th century, when a part of Veneto was controlled by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Austrian soldiers used to add a “splash” of water or soda to their wine glasses, since they found local wines too strong.

In some traditional bars of that area, elderly people still ask for this kind of old-fashioned Spritz, composed by Prosecco wine diluted with soda or seltzer.

The modern version of the recipe was born later, in the early 20th century, when liqueurs like Aperol or Select were added to the drink. The success of Aperol was immediate, while Select was initially “an elite class product” of Venetian aristocrats.

In 2011, this particular recipe was made ‘official’ by IBA (International Bartenders Association), the most influent organization which represents barmen from all over the world. In the same year, Moscow Mule, a typical cocktail served in a copper mug was recognized and getting ready to become a real trend.

The original recipe of Spritz

The version of the Spritz codified by the IBA is 3:2:1. It contains 3 parts of Prosecco, 2 parts of Aperol and 1 part of soda. 

90 ml Prosecco
60 ml Aperol
Splash of Soda water
Calories: 90 cal

The preparation method is simple: Fill the glass with ice; pour Prosecco wine (6cl), then Aperol (4cl) and soda water. Gently mix and then garnish using half a slice of orange. Such a simple base makes the Spritz a very versatile cocktail and this allows a barman’s creativity to unleash. 

Most popular Spritz variants

The "official" version of the Spritz codified by the IBA is the one prepared with Aperol Spritz, with a sweeter scent and an orange aftertaste. The most famous variants are those with Campari, Cynar and Select.

Spritz Campari / Bitter Spritz, a bitter drink

By replacing Aperol with Campari, you get a drink appreciated by those who prefer a slightly more alcoholic and amarotic taste. Process, proportions and garnish stay the same.
calories: 90 cal

Spritz Cynar, complex flavours
A white Spritz with the use of white wine instead of Prosecco. The aromatic notes of artichoke Bitter make it a pleasant alternative, where the bittersweetness of the vegetable, meets the freshness of white wine.
Calories: 125 cal

Spritz Veneziano, the right balance between sweet and bitter
Considered by many as "the real Venetian Spritz", it requires Select instead of Aperol, a citrus liqueur with a bright red color and a sweet taste, which is enhanced by the garnish with slices of orange or lemon.
Calories: 90 cal

One of the characteristics of the Spritz is its ability to always offer new scents by replacing the starting liqueur. For example, by varying the liqueur part with elderberry syrup and using mint leaves as a garnish we can get a Hugo: the perfect aperitif for the summer.
Calories: 150 cal

The arrival of the most famous Sambuco liqueur “St. Germain” has created a variant of the Hugo itself, which transforms it into St. Germain Hugo; in this case the recipe is 2 parts of Prosecco, 1 part of elderflower liqueur and 2 parts of soda water, with mint leaves and a lime wedge as a garnish.
Calories: 115 cal

In the city of Brescia, in the Northern Italy, Spritz has a curious and original reinterpretation, called "Pirlo". It is a Spritz made using a white still wine with a very delicate and fresh flavor. The "bubble" and the effervescence of the cocktail is given by adding carbonated mineral water.

The Passion Spritz, an exotic ready-to-drink aperitif

Among combinations to transform this iconic cocktail, one is particularly able to highlight flavors with tasty elements from exotic worlds.

The Passion Spritz is the perfect pre-dinner drink made by Spirito Cocktails for summer happy hours. This variant is obtained by combining an infusion of orange, alcohol and aromatic herbs, including rhubarb, cinchona, gentian, the best clear Caribbean rum aged 5 years, blended with a fresh maracuja juice.

The result is a ready-to-drink aperitif with an unexpected freshness and sweetness. It has a sweet initial taste and a bitter final one, in the tradition of the best Italian aperitifs.

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