Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with Recipes
As summer comes to an end, this collection of cocktail recipes will help extend the lightweight, holiday feeling. Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with Recipes explains the history and culture of the drink. It’s something of a reclamation, an attempt to recapture the low-alcohol cocktail from the horrors of white wine spritzers.
A spritz is a blend of sparkling wine, usually prosecco; a bitter liqueur; and soda water, served pre-dinner or for happy hour. It’s intended to spur the appetite without weighing the drinker down.
Many of the recipes here are accompanied by glamour shots of the drinks sitting alone. Those who are just looking for a new set of drinks will find all the history wearying, and those who haven’t been to Italy may not be sympathetic to fond memories of student trips. But all this background will appeal to the liquor snob looking for a new area of exploration, and padding out the book makes it a more substantial hospitality gift, if you’re so inclined.
The early sections were tough going for me because I wasn’t familiar with the various flavors of bitters they reference frequently. There’s a later rundown, but if you’re serious about experimenting with these drinks, you’ll need to hold a few tasting sessions. Or find a bar that’s bought into the concept and has various flavors to try.
The few classic recipes included seem workable; the modern versions that follow are much more complicated, with more ingredients, several of which are syrups or shrubs (recipes also included). Many include a fancy liquor that would be bought just for this recipe, in my case, so experimenting would require quite the commitment. These are recipes for a bartender or a real devotee of drinking.
The book concludes with a small section of fancy snacks to accompany your drinks. (The publisher provided a review copy.)