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Italian aperitivo

Aperol Spritz - An Italian Summer in Every Glass

After a long and rewarding summer's day in Italy, I like nothing better than to stroll into a piazza, take a front-row seat at the theater of life (an outdoor cafe), and order an aperitivo.

Soon little plates are placed before me: bruschetta, salami, mortadella, olives, etc.

Then comes my Aperol spritz, and I am in heaven for the next hour or two.

I watch the world go by, chat with friends, nibble on the snacks, and sip my drink.

Could anyone have invented a more perfect way to end the day? Forget meditation; this is way better.

Can't get to Italy?

Then bring a little Italy to wherever you may be in this great, big, wonderful world of ours with our aperol spritz recipe.

Serve it with Italian-style mini bites, such as bruschetta topped with ripe tomatoes and fragrant basil. Set the mood with Andrea Bocelli's soul-stirring melodies playing softly in the background.

Close your eyes, take a sip, and let the magic transport you to an Italian piazza, where a gentle breeze dances through your hair and the sweet sound of Italian conversation fills the air. 

But what's the story behind this iconic Italian cocktail?

Aperol spritz has a rich history rooted in the Veneto region, where it was born in the early 20th century. The idea was to come up with a lighter alternative to strong alcoholic beverages. The final version was perfected by Luigi and Silvio Barbieri. It was created by combining the bitter notes of gentian, rhubarb, and cinchona with the refreshing zest of orange. The result is the distinctive flavor that captivates our palates today.

It took a while to become popular, though. For most of its life, it was limited to a few towns in the Veneto, and it was popular with elderly men playing cards in working-class neighborhoods and bars.

Around 20 years ago, it slowly started to become more popular among students, first in cities like Padua, and then, suddenly, it exploded in popularity, spreading throughout Italy and the world.

Aperol Spritz was invented in the great city of Padua. How about a quick trip around town while you sip on your aperitivo? Click here to start.

Aperol Spritz being served in Italy

How to Make an Aperol Spritz: The Recipe

  • Half-fill a large wine glass with ice.
  • Pour 3 parts Prosecco over the ice.
  • Next, stir in 2 parts aperol.
  • Add in 1 part soda water.
  • Finally, top with a slice of orange or lemon. I prefer orange, but some say lemon is the better choice. Try it both ways and see which you prefer.

A Couple of Variations on Aperol Spritz 

Aperol Grand Spritz:

  • In a glass filled with ice, combine 2 ounces of Aperol, 1 ounce of Grand Marnier, and a splash of soda water.
  • Give it a gentle stir to mix the ingredients together.
  • Top it off with 3 ounces of chilled prosecco.
  • Garnish with an orange slice or twist.

Enjoy the harmonious blend of Aperol's bittersweet orange notes and the smooth, cognac-infused flavors of Grand Marnier. This variation adds a touch of elegance and complexity to the classic Aperol Spritz, thanks to the distinctive flavors of Grand Marnier. The rich orange liqueur complements the vibrant Aperol, creating a delightful balance of sweetness and bitterness. It's a perfect choice if you would like to add a nuanced and sophisticated twist to your beloved spritz.

Sip, savor, and let the flavors transport you to a moment of pure indulgence.


Aperol Negroni Spritz:

Give your spritz a sophisticated twist by blending the flavors of Aperol with gin and sweet vermouth.

  • Mix equal parts Aperol, gin, and sweet vermouth, 
  • Top it off with a splash of soda water. 
  • Garnish with an orange twist for a delightful balance of bitter and sweet.

Aperol Rosé Spritz:

  • Substitute the prosecco with a sparkling rosé wine for a touch of elegance and a hint of fruity notes. The delicate blush color adds a romantic twist to your Aperol Spritz experience.

Aperol Spritz (Video)

Print Recipe

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