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Alcohol abuse is dangerous for your health, alcoholic drinks should be consumed in moderation.
The Spritz has become very trendy and is one of the best refreshing cocktails for the summer or the end of the year parties, in addition to the Rosé and the Ruinart champagne. But do you know its origins? And did you know that the Spritz can be declined in many ways? Today, I’m going to tell you about the history of the Spritz, and guide you step by step in the preparation of this tasty cocktail.
The history of the Spritz
Although very popular today, the Spritz dates back to the first half of the 19th century! Its origins date back to the time of the Austrian occupation of Italy.
Veneto, a region located in the northeast of Italy, was ceded to the Austrian Empire in 1815. Its beautiful provinces were then invaded by many Austrian soldiers, but also merchants and officials. The customs of one country being not those of the other, the Austrians found that the alcohol served in the bars and taverns of the area was too strong.
So it occurred to them to ask the waiters to dilute the Italian wines, which were not as light as German or Austrian wines, by pouring water over them. And in German, to sprinkle (or asperger) translates into… spritzen! So our famous Spritz got its own name from there!
The Austrians got into the habit of mixing Italian wine (white or red) with soda water. Then, it was not until the 1900s and the birth of Italian bitter drinks that the Spritz appeared as we consume it today. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Venetians regained their independence. They reworked the white wine-sparkling water mixture by adding bitter, such as Aperol or Campari.
This is how the original Spritz cocktail was born! Nowadays, the Spritz is consumed during aperitifs or parties, especially by students, but also by the less young. It is very appreciated for its freshness with some bitterness, breaking the usually very sweet taste of cocktails. Moreover, this clever mixture gives it a delicate flavor in alcohol. So, even if you feel less alcohol, consume your little Spritz with moderation!
The essential ingredients of the Spritz
As we have seen, the Spritz is made of white wine, bitter drink and soda water. If you want to reproduce this cocktail at home, here are the necessary ingredients and their proportions.
For 1 glass of Spritz:
- 6 cl (2 oz) of white wine (Prosecco type)
- 4 cl (1.3 oz)of bitter aperitif (such as Aperol or Campari)
- 4 cl of sparkling water (like Perrier, Pelegrino, Sparkling soda…)
a few ice cubes.
To mix everything, you can use a shaker if you need to, and for decoration, why not add a nice slice of orange on your glass?
The preparation of the Spritz
You have all your ingredients? Then follow my directions!
Spritz is usually drunk from a large wine glass. But you can serve it in a large tumbler glass if you prefer. Either way, the recipe is made right in the glass.
It couldn’t be easier. Fill your glass with a few ice cubes. Pour your white wine (6 cl or 2 oz), then your bitter (4 cl or 1.3 oz) and your sparkling water (4 cl) directly into the glass. Stir. And it’s ready, all you have to do is savor it! You can add a slice of orange on the edge of your glass, for a little decorative note, or even in your glass if you want a more pronounced orange taste.
This is the original recipe. But you can also proportion your glass, if it’s more convenient for you: you just have to respect the dosage 1/3 bitter drink and 2/3 white wine, to which you will add a dash of sparkling water. You will only have to add the ice cubes to the edge of the glass, without forgetting to mix. This technique, in addition to being practical, has the advantage of allowing you to dilute your cocktail more or less according to your preferences.
Possible variations of the Spritz
In the original recipe, I list Aperol and Campari as possible bitter aperitifs. Aperol Spritz is much more commonly referred to than Campari Aperol, but that’s a matter of taste (and also what you have on hand).
In any case, these two bitters are classic Spritz drinks. But using another one will give you a whole new kind of spritz! You can modify any of the above essential ingredients to add variety.
You can replace the Prosecco with another wine, Champagne or Cremant, Martini (white or red)…
Aperol or Campari can be replaced by other liqueurs, to give your cocktail a radically different taste (like lemon or apple, for example).
Finally, sparkling water can be exchanged for fruit juice, flavored water or even alcohol.
Therefore, the Spritz can be declined almost endlessly! Here are a few known variations.
Here, we follow the Austrian blend that gave birth to the cocktail. We forget the bitter, and we change the traditional white wine:
6 cl (2 oz) red wine + 6 cl (2 oz) sparkling water + ice cubes.
The white wine and the bitter are declined, in order to give a lemon power to the Spritz:
10 cl (3.5 oz) of champagne or crémant + 2 cl (0.6 oz) Limoncello + 1 dash sparkling water + ice cubes.
Optional: 1 teaspoon of cane sugar syrup + slice of lime.
A bitter liqueur made from artichokes, the Cynar replaces the Aperol or Campari. Apart from that, the recipe remains the same, but the taste changes completely!
Here, vodka replaces sparkling water. This cocktail is therefore even stronger in alcohol. To be consumed with moderation!
10 cl (3.5 oz) of Prosecco + 2 cl (0.6 oz) vodka + 2 cl (0.6 oz) Aperol or Campari + 4 cl grapefruit juice + 1 dash of grenadine syrup + ice.
Gin replaces white wine for a drier, but more alcoholic finish. Not to be abused!
4 cl (1.3 oz) of gin + 2 cl (0.6 oz) of Aperol or Campari + 10 cl (3.5 oz) of sparkling water + 2 cl (0.6 oz) of lime juice + 2 cl (0.6 oz) of cane sugar syrup + basil leaves + ice.