A Spritz is a cocktail made with sparkling wine and a bitter liqueur. A Spritzer, on the other hand, is a drink that combines white wine and soda water.
The Spritz originated in Venice during Italy’s occupation by the Austrian Empire, and the German soldiers adapted their habit of adding water to wine (the Spritzer) by throwing in a little of the local liqueur. The Spritz Veneziano is this concoction’s full title, and it can be made with any number of bitter liqueurs.
The International Bar Tenders Association official cocktail recipe calls for Aperol, an Italian liqueur with a taste of bitter orange. It is very similar to Campari but has a lower alcohol content and isn’t as bitter. You can also try making the Spritz with Cynar, which is made from over a dozen plants including artichokes. It sounds a bit strange, but Cynar has a unique flavour that works very nicely in a Negroni as well.
There are no hard and fast rules about what you can add to the Prosecco, but a genuine Spritz tends to have an auburn colour. You can also use Champagne in the drink, or another high-end sparkling white wine if you don’t have the real thing on hand. It’s a great alternative to having a Mimosa at brunch if you like the taste of orange but don’t fancy something sweet.
Here’s the recipe for making a Spritz Veneziano Cocktail:
- 60ml Prosecco
- 40ml Aperol
- Splash of soda water
- Orange slice to garnish
- Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice
- Add the Prosecco and Aperol
- Top with soda or sparkling mineral water
- Garnish with a slice of orange
- Old-fashioned glass