Spritz evolves from Italian aperitif to global cocktail

VENICE, Italy –

A sea of ​​vibrant orange and red cocktails has become a common sight in bars and restaurants across Europe and beyond as the Italian-born bistro continues to find new fans.

This wine-based cocktail has been served as an aperitif in northeastern Italy for decades, and is drunk with cicchetti (Venetian tapas) throughout Venice’s neighboring bars. Modern spritz includes wine, digestive liquor, and soda water.

It originated in the mid-19th century, during the period of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is believed that some Austrians find Italian wines too heavy, so they will ask the bartender for a “spritzen” (flushing water) to dilute them. That became the first spritz recipe.

The bitters came later. The sweeter orange aperol was created in 1919 in Padua, Italy. The dark red bitter digestive product Select was launched in 1920, from the Castello district of Venice. These wines are created with a combination of botanicals.

Campari Italian aperitif has long been a popular ingredient in Negroni cocktails but is also growing in popularity as a spritz.

Rudi Carraro, Select’s brand ambassador, explains that Venice is at the heart of the Italian spice trade, so “it’s very easy for them to source spices, herbs and plants from all over the world, to created their perfect formula that today remains ‘unchanged’. “

Describing Select’s taste, Carraro says, “at first you have very pleasant, aromatic citrus notes, coming from oranges and a hint of cardamom.” Add to that the rhubarb rhizome, which he says gives it a “grassy, ​​incense, earthy flavor” that “will keep coming back.” Finally, you have artemisia, commonly known as wormwood, which “makes a long, bitter finish in the back of your throat.”

Initially, aperitifs were drunk on their own, “maybe with a little ice or soda, to get a bit of length,” says Carraro. It wasn’t until the ’50s that these Italian wines were used as a cocktail ingredient and added to spritz, although “just a little sensational to begin with”.

In the ’70s, Prosco regularly replaced white wine, says Carraro, making the modern spritz more vibrant and appealing to the younger generation.

But it wasn’t until the 2000s that spritz transformed from a Venetian appetizer into a worldwide phenomenon.

Aperitif sales are up 26% globally in 2021 year-over-year, according to IWSR Beverage Market Analysis. The top five markets for aperitifs are Italy, France, Germany, Brazil and Argentina. Over the past five years, global aperitif production has grown steadily, with Italy, France, Germany, Brazil and Argentina being the top five markets.

Spritz was a factor in that increase. Linda Passarella, global director of aperitifs for Campari Group, which also owns Aperol, said the mildly alcoholic spritz “fits well with the emerging trend” of lower-alcohol drinks.

Consumer tastes are also changing; While Italians are used to bitter flavors at a young age, the rest of the world now knows more about Italian aperitifs and is experimenting more with those flavors.

“We started drinking coffee at grandma’s house when we were very young,” said Italian-born Carraro, adding that even the non-alcoholic drinks Italian children drink are bitter.

Luca Boso, manager of the Terrazza Aperol bar in Venice, says Aperol tastes like gentian herbs, vanilla, flowers, “plus lots of orange”.

Aperol’s biggest growth is still in Europe, but Passarella says her team is looking to expand in the US and also in Asia.

She sees Aperol spritz as the starting point for her aperitif journey. “It’s a well-balanced, bittersweet flavor, so it’s very approachable in terms of flavor,” she says.

“When consumers want a more refined, bitter experience, they try Campari spritz. Campari spritz is more complex, offering a more complex flavor.”

No matter which dish you choose, the modern recipe is simple: 3 parts wine, 2 parts sour, a little soda and lots of ice, finished with an olive or a slice of orange.

Carraro encourages experimentation.

“What I like about the spritz recipe is that it’s really up to you, up to you to like it,” he says. “I like my recipe a bit more Select in there because it makes it a little more spicy. If you want more soda to make it lighter or more ice, less ice, that’s completely up to you. “


News7h: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button