Hidden treasures

The origins of the Spritz cocktail

Local Traditions
spritz-veneziano

The origins of the Spritz cocktail

Spritz, the typical Venetian aperitif, has nowadays become the iconic cocktail of Happy hour not only in Italy, but all over the world. But have you ever wondered what its origins are?

There is no certain data on the birth of this fresh and not excessively alcoholic aperitif, but it is believed that its origins can be traced back to the period of Austrian domination in Lombardy and Veneto between the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries when soldiers, traders, diplomats and employees of the Hapsburg empire stationed in Venice, took to diluting the high alcohol level of local wines with sparkling water. In fact, the term ‘spritz’ would seem to derive from the German verb ‘spritzen’ which means ‘to spray’. So, the first Spritz, composed only of water and wine, was very different from what we are used to sipping today. We need have to wait until the beginning of the twentieth century to witness its first evolution thanks to the introduction of the first Seltz siphons for water which replaced the classic sparkling water and the ‘20s and 30’s to find this simple mixture mixed with bitter alcohol of varying alcohol strength. In the early decades of the twentieth century in fact, the two famous bitter liqueur Aperol and Select began to be produced respectively by the Barbieri brothers of Bassano del Grappa and the Venetian Pilla brothers, which, once added to ‘spritzen’, gave rise to the aperitif of the Venetian tradition ... Spritz!

There is no single and widespread recipe for Spritz... just in the Triveneto area you can taste three different types: in Treviso Spritz is mixed with prosecco, in Padua with sparkling wine, in Udine with Tocai Friulano and in Venice with traditional still white wine. In short ... different city, different Spritz... and if you come to Venice you cannot do without a joyful bacaro tour to discover the how Venetian aperitif is prepared with the famous cocktail accompanied by tasty ‘cicchetti’!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: 'Duri i banchi!': the meaning of a famous motto in Venice

duri-i-banchi
Figures of speech

The Venetians are a people of workers, proud and deeply attached to their city, and for these reasons, they never surrender to hardship...

View

Venice: Coronavirus is not (fortunately) Venice’s new plague

peste
Historical Curiosities

As recently as a month ago the Coronavirus or COVID-19 started to affect our lives causing much disruption. It appeared precisely in ou...

View

Venice: History of the Queen of Venice Carnival: Frittella!

Frittelle_di_carnevale
Local Traditions

It is Carnival time...and what could be better than biting into a soft and tasty Venetian frittella? Frittella, ‘fritoea or fritola...

View

Venice: The legend of Melusina and the stone heart of Sotoportego dei Preti

Melusina
Mysteries & Legends

February: the feast of lovers is approaching and you are thinking of relishing magical experiences together with your better half in Ve...

View

Top posts

Chioggia: The Valley of the Seven Dead Men

casone-millecampi-detto-casone-dei-sette-morti
Mysteries & Legends

Halloween is just around the corner: have you already got into the fascinating terrifying aura of the scariest party of the year? No ye...

View

Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

cuore-erizzo
Unknown places & works

If you are visiting St Mark’s Basilica and have just abandoned the wonderful vision of the Pala d'Oro (which is a must-see), just a f...

View

Venice: Map of Venice, what to know before you leave

mappa-venezia
Did you know that...

Did you know that Venice is not a single large island but rather a collection of 117 small islands linked together by over 400 bridges?...

View

Verona: The roman walls of Verona

porta-borsari
Historical Curiosities

Verona has always been considered a city of considerable importance from a military point of view: being at the mouth of the Adige Vall...

View