Brimming with bold colours and effervescent character, the Aperol Spritz cocktail is an icon of the Aperitivo hour. It's got an illustrious history to match its grandeur too.
This vibrant Italian aperitif has achieved the cult classic status, acting as an irresistible siren call to sip away across the globe. Here, we invite you to journey with us as we delve into the history of this iconic cocktail, share a fail safe recipe, and enlighten you with tips to create your version of 'sunshine in a glass.'
After all, the true beauty of the Aperol Spritz lies not just in its tasting, but in the ritual of making the prefect serve!
A Sip of History
In the heart of Padua, Italy, the Barbieri brothers concocted the original Aperol in 1919. An innovative response to the Italians' ardour for aperitifs, Aperol quickly became a local favourite, striking a delicate balance between sweetness and bitterness with hints of bitter orange, gentian, and rhubarb.
The drink's popularity took flight in the 1950s when the idea of the Aperol Spritz was sparked: a tantalising marriage of Prosecco, Aperol and soda water, layered over ice and garnished with a slice of orange. This splendid combination epitomised la dolce vita, the sweet life.
However, it remained a local drink. One tourists would encounter and discover on holiday. The Aperol Spritz's ascent into a global sensation was far more recent a feat, and an amazing achievement if you think about it for more than a second.
It's rise to its current ubiquitous status began in the 90's, when Aperol was actively promoted beyond its northern strongholds of Veneto, Friuli, and Lombardia, in particular - in the southern parts of Italy.
This move wasn't just to exploit untapped markets, but to allow the brand to embody the sunny la dolce vita lifestyle that the Spritz represents. It was a canny move and through their continued push to popularise Aperol nationwide it did more than just gain new fans.
It meant that despite Italy's proud regional diversity, with each region boasting unique histories and culinary traditions, Aperol managed to unite them under a shared affection for the Spritz.
In turn, this has allowed the drink to be authentically perceived as a true Italian icon internationally.
The Classic Aperol Spritz Recipe
3 parts Prosecco
2 parts Aperol
1 part soda water
Slice of orange for garnish
Fill a wine glass with ice cubes.
Pour in the Prosecco, followed by the Aperol.
Add a splash of soda water.
Garnish with an orange slice and serve.
This recipe is often quoted as '3-2-1' – a mnemonic for the ratio of Prosecco, Aperol, and soda water, which makes it incredibly easy to remember.
Tips to Create the Perfect Aperol Spritz
The Ice: Use plenty of ice. It’s supposed to be a refreshing serve. Get it cold and add lots in each serve.
The Prosecco: Don’t skimp on quality. The Prosecco you choose can greatly affect the overall taste of the cocktail. Go for a dry, crisp one for the best results.
The Garnish: Always garnish with a slice of citrus – orange for the classic and pink grapefruit for the Mediterranean variant. This doesn't just beautify the drink; it adds a fresh, fruity aroma that pairs brilliantly with the cocktail's flavours.
The Mix: Don't shake it! Pour the ingredients directly into the glass and let them mingle naturally. This ensures the Prosecco keeps its delightful bubbles.
So discerning drinkers, why not venture into crafting your own Aperol Spritz?
Enjoy the gratification of stirring this iconic cocktail to life in your kitchen. And remember, when you're holding that sun-kissed glass, replete with the aromas of Italian summer, you're not just savouring a cocktail, you are partaking in a rich, cultural tradition that's managed to unite Italy itself.
The spirit of la dolce vita awaits you, one spritz at a time…