In Venice and in Veneto, Spritz is way more than a drink.
It is the ideal “aperitivo” before lunch or dinner, it is an excuse to meet, talk and eat little tapas, called cicchetti, like chips (minimum, get angry if they don’t bring them), bread and local salami, small slices of pizza or focaccia or even tramezzini.
Apparently, it was invented around the beginning of the XIXth century, when the Austrian soldiers, not used to the strong italian wines, started to water wines with seltz (horrible stuff, don’t try this at home). The same name “Spritz” derives from the German “spritzen”, meaning to dilute.
The spritz recipe varies in the different cities of Veneto. For instance, in Vicenza it’s white wine and water, in Venice it is with Select.
Spritz is an original and recognized cocktail by IBA, called Spritz Veneziano it is made out of:
- 6 cl Prosecco
- 4 cl Aperol
- Splash of Soda water
Pour into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice.
Top with a splash of soda water.
Garnish with half an orange slice.
In Venice, there are two main versions: the Aperol/Select Spritz and the Campari Spritz.
The first has a light orange colour, it is made with Prosecco, Aperol/Select, Seltz and a slice of orange.
The second is red, instead of Aperol/Select Campari is used.
The version with Campari is bitter, while the one with Aperol is sweet, a matter of tastes.
Prices vary from 2.00 to 5 euros, it depends how fancy the bar is, how far you are from touristic routes and what you can eat with the Spritz.