Summer Sipper, part 2


A delicious aperitif can help prepare you for a meal or just work to divide the day from the night. The photo above was taken at about 10:30 in the morning, however, when G & I were on vacation. This was on Day 3 at a little waterside bar/restaurant in Venice in the Dorsodoro district.

“Well, it certainly looks tasty and festive”, I hear you say.

“Yes! Yes it is.”

“What is it?”

“It” is a Spritz. There are a number of variations with the default changing by location, but the one above is about an ounce of Aperol, ice, a lemon slice and some sparkling water. Aperol is a bitter with an orange flavor. It’s herbally and refreshing.  G finds this iteration tastes a little too much like Tang (“that the astronauts drink”).

Walk into a bar in Venice, Verona or even Vernazza or any other place that starts with a V. (Not really) and ask for a Spritz and they’ll know what you mean. The first question they’ll typically ask is “Campari or Aperol?” For me, that’s a no-brainer. I find Campari to be too medicinal whereas Aperol has an herbally citrusness.

The other option with a Spritz, which will raise the price from €1.50 to €2.50 is for your Spritz to be made with prosecco instead of sparkly water. Approximately one ounce of Aperol and then fill your champagne flute with chilled prosecco.


For me, that’s well worth the one Euro splurge.

I was able to locate Aperol online. It’s also available at big chain liquor stores like BevMo. Even my local corner liquor store, the amazing Cap’n Cork with a wall of micro- and euro-brews the size of a supermarket freezer section has it. Expect to pay between $25 and $35 for a bottle of the stuff. A bottle should make about 25 drinks, depending on how intensely flavored you like it.

Any kind of sparkling wine with good bubbles should work, but I’d stick with something inexpensive like prosecco or cava. I woulnd’t try it with a more lightly fizzy wine like a franciacorta. And never, ever, would I do it with a lambrusco. 😀

By the way, the Canella prosecco is a nice, well-balanced prosecco. Neither too sweet nor too biscuity with the kind of bubbles I like in Champagne. This was picked up at our nearby “expensive” Gelson’s super market for $12 on sale.