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The story of Spritz, the most popular Italian aperitivo

Posted by GLflorence on March 17, 2020


Italians love to gather and grab a drink together after work or in the weekends. This moment is called aperitivo, and it’s an important part of our daily life. One of the most common drinks is spritz Aperol or Campari, made entirely with Italian ingredients. However, you may not know that this famous cocktail has been invented by Austria. Here’s the story.

Spritz was created by Austrian soldiers

At the beginning of 1900 the Habsburg Empire used to soften Northern Italy wines, which were quite strong at the time, with some sparkling water. The verb used to describe the making of this “cocktail” was “spritzen”, to spray – spruzzare in Italian.  The result was appreciated by Italians too, especially the ones in Venice and Padua, that decided to enrich the recipe adding some Aperol (Padua) or Select (Venice). This happened at the beginning of 1900, but Spritz became popular only in the 70’s, when Aperol company decided to make it its forte: Italian aperitivo spread all around Italy and the world.


There are different kinds of spritz

There’s not only one spritz! Every city has its own recipe, and they’re all great. The official recipe, though, is the IBA one (International Bartenders Association):

6 cl Prosecco

4 cl Aperol

A squirt of soda/seltz

Other important versions are

- Spritz padovano

1/2 prosecco.

1/2 of Aperol, Bitter, Cynar, Campari, Gin, etc..

A not pitted olive and a slice of orange (Aperol) or lemon (Campari).

Spritz trevigiano

5/10 prosecco.

3/10 di Aperol or Campari.

2/10 of water.

A not pitted olive and a slice of orange (Aperol) or lemon (Campari).

Served with chips or nuts.

Spritz veneziano

1/3 still white wine

1/3 selz soda.

1/3 of Campari, Select or Aperol.

A not pitted olive and a slice of orange (Aperol) or lemon (Campari).

Served with chips, olives or nuts.

Spritz udinese

1/3 Verduzzo or Friulano (Tocai)

1/3 sparkling water

1/3 Aperol or Campari.

A lemon peel.


It doesn't matter what recipe you prefer: aperitivo is a special and social moment that Italians love, and can't be avoided! What about enjoying an aperitif in Piazza della Signoria? Join our Tour to live an authentic Italian experience!


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