As we hold on to summer by the tips of our fingers, or at least what can be described as summer, we still cherish those long refreshing drinks such as the spritz. As you ‘sun’ yourself in the overcast and slightly drizzly weather you long for something to quench your thirst. And as you reach for your glass you begin to wonder where the spritz came from and how is it so delicious?
For those lucky enough to have ventured to beautiful Italy you may have encountered one of these tipples along the way. That is where the story of the spritz begins.
These aperitif cocktails date back to the 18th century when Venice was part of the Austrian Empire. While occupying the Veneto the soldiers, as you can imagine, enjoyed a cheeky snifter of wine in the taverns. As they were more often used to drinking beers with lower a abv they added water or even sparkling water to the wine, otherwise known as the white wine spritzer.
According to the Campari Group we consume 300,000 spritzes a day, that equates to 200 a minute! The rise of this drink's popularity has apparently been due to the 2000 film Meet The Parents. Three of the main characters, played by Barbera Streisand, Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro drink an Italian Spritz!
The traditional spritz is often made with bitter Italian liqueurs, dry, high acidity wines produced in the Veneto region such as prosecco and pinot grigio with a splash of soda water. As the style of cocktail has moved on the balance but neutrality of the other ingredients lends itself to a range of different liqueurs and spirits.
It has often been said that the ideal recipe for a spritz is 3:2:1, with three parts wine forming the base of the cocktail, two parts liqueur and one part soda water. This is an easy cocktail to make at home, and like I said it lends itself to a wide range of liqueurs so is a great drink to play around with flavours. The cocktail below is just a guide, but the liqueurs by the Sweet Potato Spirit Company make great flavours that work well in a spritz.
Add the liqueur and prosecco to a large wine glass filled with ice, stir and finish with the soda and a few fresh raspberries.
I hope this blog has inspired you to make your own Spritz this weekend! We would love to see your creations and hear about the flavours you have used. Tag us on Facebook and Instagram @SplitsDrinks.
"Clear and colourless and without definite aroma or taste"
In this week’s blog we discover more about vodka, find out why the statement above is ludicrous and why craft vodka demands a place alongside gin.