Aperol Spritz and Spritz cocktails, in general, have a long tradition in Italy. Especially in the northern part of the country where the drink was named and invented.
These drinks are a bubbly and bittersweet mix of Prosecco, an Italian aperitivo, and soda water. The Aperol Spritz is the most prominent member of this category and even occupies a place in the list of IBA cocktails.
Since the Campari group acquired the Aperol brand in 2003, the orange-red Aperitivo experienced a drastic gain in popularity.
Looking back at this stroke of genius, you can't deny that Gruppo Campari did an excellent job promoting the drink. Plus, they had an extraordinary feeling for what the people liked, which was a refreshing and easy-to-consume drink with a hint of bitterness.
A quick look at the history of the drink
Aperol itself has its roots in Padua in the northern part of Italy, close to Venice.
Invented in 1919, the bittersweet and very light liqueur (11% ABV) was a popular Aperitivo, a pre-dinner drink to prepare your stomach for the meal ahead.
And it also was in this region that the drink got invented. Named the German word for "spray", Austrian soldiers mixed their wine with water and created the Spritzer - equal parts soda water and wine. That makes the beginning of the history of the Spritz cocktail.
With the purchase of Aperol, Campari initiated the victory march of the Aperol Spritz.
They launched a brilliant and well-executed marketing campaign aiming to push the consumption of Spritz cocktails. First in Italy, then in the rest of Europe, and finally, in 2017, Campari started promotion in the US.
Now, you see the bright orange-red drink everywhere. After-work sessions and happy hours all over the world feature the famous Spritz cocktail.
Ingredients of the Aperol Spritz
Despite its general popularity, the Aperol Spritz is polarizing. And the principal reason for this is not that there is a general issue with it but because the execution is mediocre.
Wrong ratios and, even worse, cheap ingredients can easily ruin an Aperol Spritz.
Sparkling wine for the Aperol Spritz
The base of the drink is Prosecco. And this bubbly component is the usual reason for a poor Spritz. Thus, avoid cheap and overly sweet Prosecco.
It sometimes is tempting to save a few bucks when buying ingredients for mixed drinks. Occasionally that even works out, but often, you will end up with results that are not worth their money after all.
So when choosing a Prosecco, opt for medium to high quality and -that's important- a dry one, preferably with quite some bubbles. Lack of fizziness is the second reason for making a poor Spritz.
Check the label for spumante - not frizzante - and Extra Dry or Brut.
Chill all ingredients
When you want to mix a great Aperol Spritz, it also is essential to chill the Prosecco, the Aperol, and the soda water properly.
The colder the ingredients are, the more sparkling they are. And, ultimately, your Aperol Spritz will taste fresher.
The ratio for the perfect Aperol Spritz
The last thing to keep in mind is the correct ratio. Initially, a Spritz - and so the Aperol Spritz, too - was made with equal amounts of Prosecco and liqueur, finished with just a splash of soda water.
Over time this changed. Nowadays, even the Campari group recommends the omnipresent 3:2:1 formula.
That means three parts of quality dry Prosecco, two parts bitter liqueur (Aperol in our case), and one part of chilled soda water.
That way, the resulting Aperol Spritz is more moderate in ABV and also more refreshing and fizzy. A win-win.
If you're serving the drink to a real connoisseur, ask them how they like their Spritz. Similar to classic cocktails like the Martini or Negroni, people tend to develop their very own preferences with an Aperol Spritz.
- 1 Jigger
- 3 oz Prosecco
- 2 oz Aperol
- 1 oz Soda water
- 1 Slice of orange
- Chill a wine glass by filling it with ice cubes.
- Add the Prosecco, Aperol, and soda water to the glass.3 oz Prosecco, 2 oz Aperol, 1 oz Soda water
- Garnish with a slice of orange.1 Slice of orange