miércoles, 10 de septiembre de 2014

The Spritz, the Aperitivo from Venice!

When you visit Venice, you'll see everywhere laid-back bars with tables out in the (narrow) streets serving an orange-golden drink in low cocktail glasses (someone call it Tumbler). That, ladies and gentlemen, is a Spritz. It is the most typical aperitivo veneziano. To tell you the truth, is pretty popular around the north-east region of Italy, the so-called Triveneto. Even if when you walk in the different campi and calle you'll see many tourist sipping it all day round, you'd better know that is an aperitivo, and it's better to enjoy it before dinner, thanks to its delicate bitter taste that makes you eager for something salted.

The Prosecco, one of the best sparkling wines ever
Under the name of "Spritz Veneziano", it is present in the official IBA (international barista association) official cocktail list. Actually there are many, many version of it, even though our favourite is the one that made it to the IBA shortlist. This version is obtained mixing the delicious Prosecco (a noble sparkling wine typical of the Veneto region, one of the very best sparkling wines in Europe for us), with a bitter drink, so typical of the italian gastronomy, like the Aperol and some soda water to add just a little bit more of bubbles.

If you walks out of the beaten path (things that we would advice you to do, since the majority of the artistical treasure of the city are hidden by a maze of small street) you would discover another city, so much quiet and laid back, with much more less tourists, where they would serve you another kind of Spritz, made of a third part of white wine, a third of bitter and a third part of soda water, or even the delicious italian sparking water.

The origin of the Spritz is not so well known, even if it is believed that it all begun during the austrian domination, when the soldier, not used to the strenght of the delicious venetian red wines, decided to mix it with some sparkling water. This mix has been very successful, still nowadays in the north east Italy they perfectly know what it is and they call it "vino spruzzato".
What is sure is that the modern cocktail was created during the 1920s or the 1930s, in the golden age of the cocktail. We deduce it because the Aperol bitter was invented in 1919 in Padua. Its name is derived from the german verb spritzen, that is to spurt.

In all the Triveneto area there are thousands of different kinds of the Spritz, and the differences is the quintessential ingredient that makes italian gastronomy so great and so funny! For each one product, there is as many variations as are the town producing it. So, instead of the Aperol, in many areas of the Veneto you can make your Spritz with another delicious bitter, the Select. In the area of Pordenone the Spritz is called Furlan, and it is served often with an olive in the glass, while it is usually served with a slice of orange or even lemon.

A Spritz made of Select bitter and an olive in it. There you have it!
Spumante Ferrari. When it comes to bubbles, go Italian.
In the Alto Adige-Sudtirol and in the german-influenced areas, the Spritz is served still nowadays in the same old austrian way, with red or white wine and sparkling water. If you move a little bit toward Slovenia, near the border, they will serve it only with white wine and soda water. Why don't you try it in Monfalcone or in the magnificent and unique Trieste, a city that's mitteleuropean and mediterranean, very fascinating!
And talking about wonderful cities, what about the charming Trento? There they make the Spritz using their gorgeous world-famous sparkling wine, the Spumante Ferrari.

As you can see, there are infinite variations of the Spritz, and today is the day to try it, given its fast ascent all over the World!

Much of the fame of the Spritz as an aperitivo is due to the 2008 tv advertising of the Aperol, that globalized the Spritz as a mass product. The advertising is simply irresistible, just as the drink!

Amazing the song too, "Street Life" by Randy Crawford! Are you already in a Spritz mood? We bet so, here's how to do it at home!

For those in a hurry, ready-to-drink Spritz by Aperol. Come on, take your time!

- Take a low glass, like a Tumbler or an Old-Fashoned, and pour three parts of Prosecco sparkling wine or Ferrari Spumante, two parts of Aperol bitter and a part of soda water.

- There you have it! Enjoy it in a party with your friends, along some antipasti like prosciutto or salami. Very important: this cocktail is to be drink with your friends and your dearest ones!

Sparkling greetings!


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