Low in alcohol, pleasantly citrusy and slightly bitter, Aperol is well on its way to being the world’s favourite aperitivo. If you want to join the trend and order one of these pretty orange drinks at a bar, you may as well know the history to impress the cocktail snobs.
The herby orange-red liquor was invented by the Barbieri brothers in Padova in 1919 and was originally designed as a health and diet drink. The recipe, as those for bitters and liqueurs tend to be, is secret, but includes bitter and sweet oranges, rhubarb and gentian.
When the Austrians controlled the Veneto after the Napoleonic wars, they took the local Italian wine and added a splash, or in German, a “spritz,” of water. Over time the water was replaced with sparkling water and the still wine was turned into wine fortified with a liqueur. It wasn’t too long before the liqueur of choice became what we today call Aperol. It gained popularity all over Italy during 1920s to 1930s and it was marketed as a drink for women and people with an active lifestyle.
The Aperol Spritz recipe rose to fame after a TV advertisement in Italy in the 1950s and it began spreading across the world throughout the 1980s and 90s. The Campari Group purchased Aperol in 2003 and embarked on a huge advertising and marketing campaign that positioned Aperol Spritz as a drink for the creatives, the fashionable and the successful. Today, the Aperol Spritz is one of the most popular drinks around the world.
How to Make an Aperol Spritz
Known as the 3-2-1 mix, an Aperol Spritz consists out of three parts prosecco, two parts Aperol, and one splash of soda water.
- Cinzano Pro-Spritz
- Soda water
Pour 50ml Cinzano Pro-Spritz into an ice-filled glass. JUST ADD APEROL in equal measure and top off with a splash of soda. “It’s a very easy recipe to remember: 50/50 splash and garnish with a slice of orange. Bravissimo! That’s all it takes to let its tongue-tickling taste unfurl in your mouth.
A cheaper alternative to Aperol Spritz
With the rise of the drink’s popularity, a bottle of Aperol Spritz is not always within everyone’s budget. This does not mean you can’t experience what the fuzz is all about. Try this poorman’s version of an Aperol Spritz. Your cocktail snob friends won’t even taste the difference!