Spritz (alcoholic beverage)
|Primary alcohol by volume|
|Served||On the rocks; poured over ice|
|Standard drinkware||Old Fashioned glass|
|Commonly used ingredients|
|Preparation||Stir into glass over ice, garnish and serve.|
The Spritz (German: "splash" / "sparkling", also called Spritz Veneziano or just Veneziano) is a wine-based cocktail commonly served as an aperitif in Northeast Italy. The drink is prepared with prosecco wine, a dash of some bitter liqueur such as Aperol, Campari, Cynar, or, especially in Venice, with Select. The glass is then topped off with sparkling mineral water. It is usually served over ice in a lowball glass (or sometimes a martini glass or wine glass) and garnished a slice of orange, or sometimes an olive, depending on the liqueur. Another variation of the drink uses champagne with the liqueur rather than prosecco. The drink originated in Venice while it was part of the Austrian Empire, and is based on the Austrian Spritzer, a combination of equal parts white wine and soda water; another idea is that the name of the drink would be linked to that of a typical Austrian wine in the region of the Wachau
Spritz was born during the period of the Hapsburg domination in Veneto (Italy) in '800. The soldiers, but also the various merchants, diplomats and employees of the Habsburg Empire in Veneto soon become accustomed to the use of local drinking wine in the tavern, but they were not comfortable with the wide variety of wines from the Veneto and the gradation is too high compared to the alcohol content which they were accustomed. For that reason they started to ask to the local hosts to spray a bit 'of water into wine (spritzen, in German) to make them lighter; the real original Spritz, in fact, was strictly composed of sparkling white wine or red wine diluted with fresh water. The first evolution of Spritz arrived in the early 1900s, when began to spread the siphons for Seltz water: Seltz (also called soda), by definition, is very carbonated water that goes very well in cocktails. Thanks to the Seltz, who came from the German town of Selters from which comes a mineral water rich in carbon dioxide, it was possible to make a sparkling Spritz using still wine. This development opened the Spritz to new types of customers, such as the Austrian noble women, who could now afford a soft drink, but with a touch of glamor to the type of preparation. Over the years the drink has "grown up" with the infinite variety of possible additions such as a sort of liquor (Aperol, Campari, Select) or a bitter as the China Martini or Cynar with a lemon peel inside.
The Spritz's recipe is shrouded in mystery, or perhaps never existed. There isn't a unique composition for a spritz because it changes in every city or small town where the bartenders freely interpret the doses and the entire preparation: for that the alcohol content is so variable. However, a common denominator between the existing variants is the presence of Prosecco and sparkling water or seltzer, which quantitatively must be at least 40% and 30%, the remaining 30% is completed by the most varied types of alcoholic drinks, sometimes mixed, with the unwritten rule to preserve the red color of the cocktail. To conclude the work a slice of lemon, orange or an olive and a few ice cubes.