So there’s this place called Italy. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of it before… but it’s the land of dreams. The people are stupid beautiful, the food is fresh and mouthwatering, the history is lush and rich and the wine is incredible. It’s a damn good place, people! But guys, I think I’ve unearthed one of Italy’s finest hidden (culinary) treasures. Introducing the Spritz! This wine based drink is an apertivo classic has been haunting my dreams… so I just had to recreate it.
I’ve started calling this drink the “better Bellini,” because let’s be honest, those things have a girly reputation. This wine-based cocktail is just sweet enough to go down easy, but also packs a bit of a bite with the dash of bitter liquor added in. Trust me, Italian dudes were not shy to order one of these on a hot afternoon. Ordering yourself a Spritz is basically the name of the game over there, especially during the summer since it’s incredibly refreshing and light!
The best part about the Spritz though? It only takes three ingredients! Yep. Three! And because I’m a young twenty-something with not much moolah to spend on fancy mixed drinks, I’m sharing with you both thepenny pincher’s guide AND the true Italian guide to making this sucker. So now you have no excuse not to make yourself one!
You ready? I’m ready. Let’s do this thang…
2 Parts Bubbly White Wine
True Italian Recipe: Prosecco
Penny Pinchers Recipe: Spumante
1 Part Bitter Liquor
True Italian Recipe: Aperol or Campari
Penny Pinchers Recipe: any kind of red, delicious cocktail bitters
Slice of Blood Orange
Pour your bubbly over ice, add your bitters and squeeze a slice of your blood orange before mixing it all together.
When Luke and I lived in Rome this summer, drinking one of these babies in the late afternoon became almost ritualized. “Oh it’s four o’clock? Well, we better head over to apertivo and get our Spritz on.” Don’t ask! It just became one of those things we looked forward to doing to begin the evening. Since returning stateside, I find myself missing the laid back, “la bella vita” approach to living around this time of day. Now around four o’clock, I’m scarfing down almonds in between work responsibilities and avoiding eye contact with the Girl Scout cookies in my purse. Since Luke and I resurrected the recipe for Spritzes, I can sort of feel the energy of Italian lifestyle slowly sink back into my skin (or at least I like to imagine that happening) whenever we drink them. It’s a mix of nostalgia and pure enjoyment. And I’m hoping you might feel some of that goodness too. So get mixing friends!
Is there a particular food or drink you find yourself nostalgic for? Maybe from your childhood or a specific place you’ve traveled to? I’d love to hear about them!