The story of this iconic and memorable cocktail is really interesting – it’s an example of when necessity is the mother of invention. In the nineteenth century, Veneto, which is now known as Venice, was occupied by the Austrians and at night, soldiers and military personnel would visit taverns in search of a drink that reminded them of their homeland’s beer. Since they weren’t used to the strong Italian wines of the era, they created a way to “lengthen” and lighten the drinks with fresh water, “spritzen mit wasser”, literally meaning “sprinkling water”. This method of creating lighter drinks is still used in certain regions such as Trieste in Italy and in some Eastern European countries such as Romania, Moldova or Hungary.
So, the ingenious idea of adding water to the Aperol liqueur created the Aperol Spritz cocktail. Nowadays, Venetians modify the recipe by replacing the water with Prosecco (a sparkling white wine), and Aperol is added to flavour the bitter orange cocktail.
These days, the Aperol spritz is the hottest cocktail in Canadian bars and restaurants. So here’s how to make the perfect one:
– Start by putting ice in the glass, then equal part of Prosecco and Aperol and add a splash of sparkling water.
– Decorate with an orange slice. This method of preparation prevents Aperol from settling in the bottom of the glass.