Summer Cocktails Venice-Style – Spritz

August 30, 2010

Aunt Suzy says

I feel like I’ve fallen down on the job with summer cocktails after announcing that we were going to try different ones this summer and post our favorites.   This cocktail really isn’t a cocktail at all, but an apperetif  served in outdoor cafes all over Venice, Italy.  When we were in Venice in 2004 we loved going to the cafes in Campo Santa Margherita which was near where we stayed.  We noticed everyone was ordering an orange iced beverage which we quickly learned was called a Spritz (pronounced Sprees).  It is made with Aperol, an apperetif made by the same folks who bring us Campari, and prosecco, the ubiquitous bubbly of the Veneto region of Italy.  So refreshing, lovely and low in alcohol!  It tickled us that when you ordered Spritz it came with a small bowl of potato chips!  This seemed incongruent with Italy, but then we remembered that this region borders Austria, Germany and Slovenia, all of which have influence on the food of Venice. 

When we returned from our trip, I looked all over for Aperol.  Campari it seems is everywhere, but we didn’t see Aperol in liquor stores or in bars.  But, lo and behold, there it was on Saturday at my favorite funky Twin Cities liquor store, Hennepin-Lake Liquors.  I grabbed it up and made the Spritz cocktails for our card party at the Eklund’s that night.  The recipe on the back of the Aperol bottle is 1 1/2 ounces Aperol, 2 ounces prosecco and a splash of club soda over ice, garnished with an orange slice served in a double rocks glass.  We all agreed that more prosecco would be better.  Don’t forget the potato chips!   Sue’s brother, Steve (a card-player extraordonaire), was in town and he is modelling the required “look” for when you drink Spritz.

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