The "spreetz" (Spritz) is the signature cocktail of Venice. Aperol is an Italian aperitif. Some of it's main ingredients are bitter orange, gentian (gentian is a flowering plant that is often used in the making of liquors, aperitifs, and bitters - giving cocktails a floral-esque flavor), rhubarb and cinchona. It looks similar to Campari, but be warned - they are not the same. They look and smell very similar, and even have some similarities in taste - but the alcohol content in Aperol is half that of Campari, coming in at only 11%. A Spritz is Aperol, Prosecco (italian sparkling wine), and club soda - along with an orange slice and two green olives. It is light and refreshing -- perfect to sip on before a meal, and totally acceptable as a drink to be consumed throughout the day, starting early in the afternoon.
I was turned on to these Italian Aperol Spritzs by Julisa, of course. Who, I have found out, was introduced to them by the lovely Janice and Jeremy. J & J had gone to Venice for a trip and fell in love with these classic Venetian cocktails. They enjoyed them all day long through the trip and when they got home they were sure to mix up one of these for their friends. Julisa fell in love with the cocktail instantly, and then put it on La Medusas drink menu. And after that it seemed to pop up on drink lists throughout the city. So, Seattle - you have Janice and Jeremy to thank for bringing this classic but totally trendy cocktail into rotation! Since J & J were responsible for introducing us to this cocktail, I found it only fitting that Janice be the one who showed us how it was done:
- Club Soda
- Green Olives
- Glass: wine glass or rocks glass, either is good :)
First you fill the cup 1/4 the way with ice - you want to chill it, not water it down. Next you pour one part Aperol in a glass, top with one part prosecco, and then you can do one part club soda - or if you want a more potent spritz then you can just add a splash or two of the sparkling water. J-Ngan squeezed some orange into the cocktail, then garnished it with an orange slice (which I squeezed into my cocktail), along with two green olives (we used Picholine olives, pit in) that she stuck onto a bamboo skewer. So boom:
one part aperol
one part prosecco
one part club soda
garnish: orange slice and green olives
ENJOY, or as they'd say in Italy, Divertiti!