Prosecco spumante or your sparkling wine of choice, two different Amari, and chilled soda water are the ingredients for making this tasty Amaro Spritz. This easy-to-make drink is the perfect aperitivo cocktail to serve at your next dinner party.
About the Drink
The Amaro Spritz cocktail, like Spritzes in general, is an Italian aperitivo drink. With its light taste and low ABV, it's a regular serve before dinner to prepare your stomach for the upcoming meal.
The first Spritzes came up as early as the 19th century. Back then, Amari were not part of the recipe. Austrian soldiers created the drink when they diluted too-strong Italian wines with sparkling water.
In the 1950s, Aperol started incorporating their herbal bitter liqueur in the formula. In our recipe, we replace the Aperol base with a combination of two Amaro liqueurs: Amaro Nonino and Cynar.
The combination of grape-forward Nonino and bittersweet, caramel, and artichoke-flavored Cynar, is paired with bubbly Prosecco and club soda. The ingredients are mixed right in the glass. No shaker or mixing glass is needed. -A bar spoon, though, will help incorporate the ingredients.
As straightforward as the recipe might sound, choosing the right ingredients is essential to master the drink. Here's what you'll need:
- Amaro Nonino - If you're into Grappa, Nonino Quintessentia is an ideal Amaro liqueur. The Italian herbal liqueur is based on Nonino's famous Grappa and flavored with a variety of roots and herbs. It has an excellent balance of bitter and sweet, which makes it great as a base for mixed drinks.
- Cynar - This Amaro liqueur is best known for its main ingredient: artichoke leaves. It's more sweet than bitter, with subtle caramel notes.
- Soda water - You can use club soda, sparkling mineral water, or Seltzer. As long as it brings bubbles to the drink, it's good enough.
- Sparkling wine - I prefer a dry Prosecco spumante (not frizzante) to even out the sweet notes from Cynar. If you can't get one, look for another dry sparkling wine.
- Orange slices - Adding an orange slice is the best way to garnish any Spritz. If you like, substitute it with other citrus fruit like lemon or grapefruit.
Also, you may want to chill all these ingredients, so the ice doesn't melt too quickly.
How to Make an Amaro Spritz
Making this refreshing Spritz cocktail is easy, and you don't need much equipment. Just follow the basic Spritz ratio of 3 parts sparkling wine, 2 parts liqueurs, and 1 part sparkling water.
Step 1: Fill a wine glass with ice cubes.
Step 2: Add chilled Prosecco, Amaro Nonino, and Cynar. Stir those three ingredients gently.
Step 3: Top with cold and sparkling water.
Step 4: Garnish with a slice of orange.
This drink is called Amaro Spritz for a reason. You can replace the two Amari I used in this recipe with any other Amaro. For instance, Campari for a more bitter version, or Amaro Averna for a sweeter one.
Alternatively, you can combine two Amari of choice as we did in this recipe. There's plenty of room for experiments.
I tried to pair Campari with Cynar but found the combination not recommendable. However, pairing Cynar with a more moderate Amaro, like Montenegro worked way better. My preferred pairing for Cynar though is still Nonino.
To elevate this drink to the next level, consider using clear ice. Having crystal clear cubes in your cocktail instead of cloudy ice will improve the visual appearance by far.
The art of making perfectly clear ice cubes at home is not as hard to master as you may think. What you need, though, is the right tools, technique, and time.
More Light Drink Recipes
- 3 oz Dry Prosecco spumante (or another dry sparkling wine)
- 1 oz Amaro Nonino
- 1 oz Cynar
- 1 oz Soda water
- 1 slice Orange
- Add ice cubes, Prosecco, and both Amari to a wine glass and gently stir with a bar spoon.
- Top with chilled soda water and garnish with a slice of orange.
Frequently Asked Questions
Aperol is a particular sort of Italian herbal bitter liqueurs known as Amari -plural of Amaro. Other popular brands are, for instance, Campari, Amaro Averna, Amaro Nonino, Cynar, and Amaro Montenegro.
It's refreshing, light, and complex in taste, with a great balance between sweet and bitter flavors. It's a tasty aperitif before a lavish dinner.
The flavor of Amari varies a lot as each brand follows its own secret recipe. What they all have in common is a herbal, bitter note that's paired with a more or less pronounced sweet note.
Spritz cocktails are often consumed as aperitivo, pre-dinner drinks served before a meal to stimulate digestion.