The Untold Truth Of The Aperol Spritz

The Aperol spritz is a drink with Italian origins, most popular in the summer months, and the ingredient for which the drink is named celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.

The official recipe, released by the Campari group which owns the Italian aperitif Aperol, a low-alcohol orange aperitif which is a bit citrusy, a little bitter, and contains hints of rhubarb, is three parts of Prosecco (preferably a dry one), two parts of Aperol, and one part soda (via Eater). Of course, variations occur and you might have your spritz without carbonation if you're in Venice, where the drink is made with a dry white wine instead of Prosecco. In some regions you might find that along with the typical orange slice garnish bartenders also use a green olive to garnish the drink. The drink is typically served in a large wine glass branded with the Aperol logo, according to New York Times contributor Rebekah Peppler.

The history of the Aperol spritz

Aperol was launched at the Padua World Fair in 1919 by two brothers who had taken on the challenge to create a lighter aperitif which would come from their hometown (via Aperol). The resulting aperitif was drunk straight for about thirty years, and was marketed to women and people who were trying to stay in shape (via Frank and Oak). In the 1950s, bartenders began using it as a component of a spritzer, a German-style drink which dates back to the 19th century when Austro-Hungarian soldiers found Northern Italian wines too strong and requested that they be "spritzed" with sparkling water in order to make them a bit lighter. In 2012, the drink made it into the annals of history with the largest Aperol spritz toast (more than 2,600 people who gathered in Piazza San Marco in Venice) being recorded by Guinness World Records

The Aperol spritz takes over the world

Some 300,000 spritzes are drunk every single day in the Veneto region of Italy, and in recent years the beverage has become something of a global phenomenon. When the aperitif was purchased by the Campari Group, they began advertising heavily, especially towards the younger generation. An especially successful marketing campaign took off in the United States, where even newspapers took note of the amount of Aperol spritz being drunk (via The New York Times). If you're extremely lazy, you can also purchase the beverage in pre-mixed bottled form (via Buon Italy).

It's not loved by everyone, though. The New York Times once ran a headline that bluntly proclaimed, "The Aperol Spritz is Not a Good Drink." The popular beverage was likened to a children's chewable multivitamin or Capri Sun and interviewees decried the low-grade Prosecco being used in the spritzes and some suggested using alternative wines such as a pétillant naturel. If you're a fan of sweet, syrupy drinks, it might be right up your alley. Otherwise, you might want to consider another, slightly stronger Italian cocktail such as a negroni.