Aperol Spritz. It’s what all the cool kids are drinking. In Venice, that is.
On our first day in Venice, we noticed that just about everyone was drinking these sunny, bright orange apertivos in the evenings, out along the canals or in one of the campos. What was this enticing drink? Well, we quickly learned that it was an Aperol Spritz. And that it was delicious.
Aperol Spritz—also known as the Venetian Spritz or Italian Spritz—is a traditional Venetian apertivo. But you see it all over Italy too—while I “discovered” it in Venice, I also enjoyed it in Florence, Rome, and Amalfi. But nowhere was it quite as popular (or quite as delicious) as it was in Venice. There’s something about sitting along a canal, with the early evening Venetian sunlight filtering through this bright orange drink, that is just so, well, wonderful.
Have you had Aperol before? Aperol has a slightly bitter (yet slightly sweet) orange flavor. Mix it with some bubbly Prosecco and a splash of soda water, and you have this refreshing summer cocktail. Simple, yet decidedly delicious.
You can also make it with Campari instead of Aperol, which will make for a more bitter, bright red spritz. Give both variations a try. Patrick prefers the Camapri Spritz, while I prefer the Aperol Spritz, so we’ve got a bottle of each on hand to satisfy our cravings.
Even in San Francisco—where’s it’s not quite as warm as Italy—the Aperol Spritz is a fantastic summer cocktail. Although I wish that I were still enjoying it in Venice instead… as I was at Il Cafe in Campo Santa Margherita, Venice:
2 parts Aperol
3 parts Prosecco
splash of soda water
slice of orange, for garnish
In an ice filled glass, combine the Aperol, Prosecco, and soda water. Stir to combine, and garnish with a slice of fresh orange. Taste it. Too bitter? Add a little more Prosecco and/or soda water. Not enough bitter? Add a little more Aperol. Tweak the flavors until you find the right balance for you. Once you’ve got it right… Kick back. Enjoy. And pretend you’re in Venice.