We’ve officially fallen in love with the aperitivo ritual this summer, that is to say, enjoying a light cocktail before dinner on the weekdays and lunch on the weekend. And while our go to aperitivo has been the Americano (and when we’d like something with a bit more alcohol content the Negroni), with any good food and drink you eventually tire of the same old thing. Enter the Aperol Spritz.
The Aperol Spritz has its origin in northern Italy (in and around Venezia) and is comprised of Aperol and Prosecco (and a bit of seltzer or sparkling mineral water). Aperol has about half of the alcohol content of Campari and is, in fact, produced by the same company. There are many variations of the classic spritz cocktail or aperitif and depending on what city or region of Italy you’re consuming the pre-dinner drink in you’ll find white wine (usually Pino Grigio or Tocai <Friulano>) or prosecco mixed with Aperol, Campari, Gran Classico, Select or Cynar and topped off with mineral water (sparkling). The Aperol spritz is refreshing and slightly sweet, though it has a bite!
The spritz is popular throughout Italy (including Udine and Trieste), Germany, Austria, and is also becoming fashionable in the United States. In fact, if you remember the film “Meet the Parents” starring Robert de Niro, Barbra Streisand, and Dustin Hoffman, Hoffman offers De Niro an Italian Spritz instead of his usual Tom Collins!
If you’re having a hard time finding Aperol at your local wine shop then you can purchase it online for a great price at Wine Chateau (it’s currently 27% off).
- 2-3 oz. Prosecco, Pinot Grigio, or Tocai
- 2 oz. of Aperol
- A few dashes of seltzer or sparkling mineral water
- Add the ingredients to a large wine glass containing ice and stir. Add a slice of orange before presenting.
Here’s a nice video (in Italian) of how to construct an Aperol Spritz (note: I did not choose the video because of the bartender’s shirt ; – ) )