Spritz (alcoholic beverage)
|IBA official cocktail|
|Primary alcohol by volume|
|Served||On the rocks; poured over ice|
|Standard garnish||Orange Wedge|
|Standard drinkware||Old Fashioned glass|
|Preparation||Build into glass over ice, garnish and serve.|
|Spritz Veneziano recipe at International Bartenders Association|
The drink originated in Venice while it was part of the Austrian Empire (see Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia), 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 Habsburg domination in Veneto (Italy) in the 1800s. The soldiers, but also the various merchants, diplomats and employees of the Habsburg Empire in Veneto became quickly accustomed to drinking local drinking wine in the taverns, but they were not familiar with the wide variety of wines from the Veneto, and the alcohol content, higher than that of the wines to which they were accustomed, was also a novelty. The newcomers started to ask the local hosts to spray a bit of water into the wine (spritzen, in German) to make the wines lighter; the real original Spritz was, in fact, strictly composed of sparkling white wine or red wine diluted with fresh water.
The first evolution of Spritz arrived in the early 1900s, when siphons for carbonated water became widely available and made it possible to make a sparkling Spritz using still wine. This development introduced the Spritz to new types of customers, such as Austrian noblewomen, who, with the drink's touch of glamour, could now afford to be seen drinking a soft drink. Over the years the drink has "grown up" with the infinite variety of possible additions such as a sort of liquor (Aperol, Campari, Select, Jardesca California Aperitiva) or a bitter as the China Martini or Cynar with a lemon peel inside.
The drink is prepared with prosecco (or champagne) 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 with a slice of orange, or sometimes an olive, depending on the liqueur.
There is not a single 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 (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. Finally a slice of lemon, orange or an olive and a few ice cubes are added.