HAPPY HOUR – THE (VENETIAN) CAMPARI SPRITZ

A proper spritz has got to be one of my most favourite drinks. Bubbly, cold and quenchingly bitter, it’s pure pleasure on a late afternoon coming into summer. It is seriously a delicious drink.

The spritz has become increasingly popular, heavily marketed by Aperol. Nobody seems to notice though, that what it really is is the Venetians’ drink of choice. And I mean all Venetians. Whether builder or lawyer, in a Biennale Pavilion or a bar, come 7pm the true Venetian goes to get a spritz. In Venice it’s not beer o’clock, it’s spritz o’clock.

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This drink was invented when the Austrian soldiers invaded Venice in the 1800s. The local wines (generally fizzy) were too strong, so the poor tired boys asked to dilute it with a little bit of water. Since then the recipe has evolved into a few variations, with or without what the Italians call ‘bitters’: Campari, Aperol or Select. But this is definitely my favourite concoction:

1 part white wine
1 part Campari
1 part soda water (known in Italian as seltz)
Slice of orange
Ice cubes
Attitude

By the way, the Venetians generally drink it in average-looking, rather large, wine glasses.

Photography & styling: Emma Scott-Child

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