Ideal for sipping away a summer afternoon, the Aperol Spritz, a mix of sparkling wine, soda water and Aperol (an Italian aperitif flavored with bitter orange, rhubarb and gentian), first rose to popularity in the 1950s, but the original spritz is more than a century older. During the Habsburg occupation of Venice in the early 1800s, the soldiers found the Northern Italian wine to be too strong. So they added a “spritzen” of water to dilute it. As the spritz grew in popularity, so did its variations, including the now iconic Italian aperitivo, the Aperol Spritz. Campari—which acquired Aperol in 2003—says 300,000 Aperol Spritz cocktails are consumed per day in the Veneto region alone, and if that many Italians are wrong, we don’t want to be right. As a far more complex brunch alternative to the Mimosa, we’re waiting for the day Aperol Spritzes are served in bottomless pitchers.
- Pour the Prosecco and Aperol into a wine glass and add ice.
- Top with a splash of soda water and mix with a bar spoon.
- Garnish with an orange slice.
Mix it Up
Felix Kir was an ordained priest, a resistance fighter during WWII, the mayor of Dijon from 1945 to 1968 and an über promoter of crème de cassis. He created both the Kir, made with white wine (traditionally Burgundy) and cassis, and the Kir Royale, which swaps the still wine for sparkling. Though the Kir is a simple cocktail, cassis, a black curr...