Spritz (cocktail)

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A Spritz is a Venetian wine-based cocktail, commonly served as an aperitif in Northeast Italy. It consists of prosecco, digestive bitters and soda water.

IBA official cocktail
Aperol Spritz aboard Viking Mariella.jpg
An Aperol Spritz
TypeWine cocktail
Base spirit
ServedOn the rocks: poured over ice
Standard garnishSlice of Orange
Standard drinkware
Wine Glass (White).svg
Wine glass (white)
IBA specified
PreparationBuild all ingredients into a wine glass filled with ice. Stir gently.
[1]dagger Spritz recipe at International Bartenders Association

The original Spritz Veneziano (Italian pronunciation: [ˈsprits venetˈtsjaːno]) uses Select as bitters and was created in Venice in 1920.[2] Popular variants are Spritz al Campari which uses Campari and Aperol Spritz which uses Aperol as bitters.[3]

Since 2011 Spritz is an IBA official cocktail, initially listed as “Spritz Veneziano” then simply as “Spritz”.[1][4]

The Spritz became widely popular outside of Italy around 2018 and Aperol Spritz was ranked as the world's ninth bestselling cocktail in 2019 by the website Drinks International.[5][6]


Spritz was created during the period of the Habsburg domination in Veneto in the 1800s, under the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia. The soldiers, but also the various merchants, diplomats and employees of the Habsburg Empire in Veneto became quickly accustomed to drinking local wine in the taverns, but they were not familiar with the wide variety of wines from the Veneto, and the alcohol content was higher than they were accustomed to.[7] The newcomers started to ask the local hosts to spray (spritzen, in German) a drop of water into the wine to make the wines lighter; the real original spritz was composed of sparkling white wine or red wine diluted with fresh water.[8]

Between 1920s and 1930s, in Venice or in Padua, Spritz was combined with local bitters (usually drunk with soda and ice): after all, Aperol was born in Padua in 1919 and Select in Venice in 1920.[4]

The original recipe has supposedly remained unchanged over time but it wasn't until the 1970s that the modern Spritz recipe was set, with prosecco instead of still wine.[9]

Over the years the drink has "grown up" with the infinite variety of possible additions such as a sort of liquor or a bitter as the China Martini or Cynar with a lemon peel inside.[10]


An Aperol spritz at Eataly in Las Vegas.

Generally, the drink is prepared with prosecco wine, bitter liqueur such as Aperol, Campari, Cynar, or, especially in Venice, Aperitivo Select,[11][12] then the glass is topped off with a dash of sparkling mineral water (more commonly club soda). It is usually served with ice in a wine or rocks glass and garnished with a slice of orange, or sometimes an olive, depending on the liqueur.[13][14]

Original venetian spritz includes:[15][2]

  • 7,5 cl prosecco;
  • 5 cl Select;
  • 2,5 cl soda water;
  • one green olive.

Spritz includes:[16][17][18][19]

IBA's official recipe includes:[1]

  • 9 cl prosecco;
  • 6 cl Aperol (there are other versions of the Spritz that use Campari, Cynar or Select);
  • Splash of soda water.

There is no single composition for a spritz, and it is prepared with different ingredients in different towns and cities, meaning that the alcohol content is highly variable. However, a common denominator is the presence of sparkling white wine and water, with the remaining being made up from a great variety of alcoholic drinks, sometimes mixed, but with an unwritten rule to preserve the red/orange color of the cocktail. Finally, a slice of lemon, orange or an olive and a few ice cubes are added.[20]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Spritz". iba-world.com. 29 April 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Altro che Aperol o Campari, a Venezia il vero Spritz si fa con il Select". www.repubblica.it. Retrieved 2021-09-07.
  3. ^ "Cocktails | Campari". www.campari.com. Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  4. ^ a b Alessandro Marzo Magno, 1979: l'anno dello spritz, in Il genio del gusto. Come il mangiare italiano ha conquistato il mondo, Milano, Garzanti, 2014, pp. 307-318, ISBN 9788811682936
  5. ^ "The World's Best-Selling Classic Cocktails 2018 - Drinks International - The global choice for drinks buyers". drinksint.com. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  6. ^ "The World's Best-Selling Classic Cocktails 2019 - Drinks International - The global choice for drinks buyers". drinksint.com. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  7. ^ "Aperol Spritz recipe and origins". The Foodellers.
  8. ^ "Racconti nel calice". cantinalacosta.com.
  9. ^ "The Best Aperitivo Bars in Venice: An Interview with Rudi Carraro, Brand Ambassador of Select". Forbes.
  10. ^ "8 best spritz cocktails to enjoy during the heatwave, from Aperol to Campari". 25 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Have you tried a Venetian Spritz?". 20 December 2020.
  12. ^ "Learn how to make the ultimate Venetian Spritz with Select Aperitivo". 24 July 2020.
  13. ^ "Venezia Eventi - la Storia dello Spritz". veneziaeventi.com. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  14. ^ "La dolce vita du spritz à Venise – Libération". Next.liberation.fr. 2014-08-08. Retrieved 2022-08-30.
  15. ^ "Select Aperitivo, a strong venetian character since 1920".
  16. ^ "Venezia, la ricetta dello Spritz - Gioie di Venezia". www.gioiedivenezia.com. Archived from the original on 26 March 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". www.venessia.com. Archived from the original on 11 September 2013. Retrieved 12 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ "Venetian Spritz Recipe (Or, once an ombra…) | livingVENICE".
  19. ^ "Classic Italian Aperol Spritz Recipe for Summer 2022".
  20. ^ "COS'E' LO SPRITZ ???". www.spritz.it.
  21. ^ "Aperitivo a Trieste". 20 May 2014.
  22. ^ "Teranino". delikro.at. Retrieved 2020-04-21.
  23. ^ "Crveno kao Pasareta". Tap od surge (in Croatian). 2018-07-05. Retrieved 2020-04-21.
  24. ^ "Italicus Spritz". 14 June 2019.