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: Mars, Adam and Eve: the Doge's Palace celebrates their return

restauro-adamo-eva-ducale
Unknown places & works

After four years of delicate restoration work, the three fifteenth-century statues by the great artist Antonio Rizzo will be exceptiona...

View

Romano D' Ezzellino: Why do they say ‘If you can't sleep, count sheep’?

contare-le-pecore
Figures of speech

It all started in Romano d’Ezzelino in the province of Vicenza when Ezzelino da Romano, who suffered from insomnia, hired a storytell...

View

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: Fave dei Morti: the Venetian cookies of All Souls Day

fave-dei-morti
Local Traditions

As tradition dictates, every year, on the day when the deceased are commemorated (November 2), in Venice it is customary to prepare ‘...

View

Top posts

Padua: Why do people say ‘Rimanere in braghe di tela?’

pietra-del-vituperio
Historical Curiosities

Have you ever wondered where the popular expression ‘Rimanere in mutande’ o ‘Rimanere in braghe di tela’ comes from? It is a wa...

View

Venice: The Last Supper by Veronese at the Gallerie dell'Accademia

ultima-cena-veronese
Historical Curiosities

The twelve rooms of the Gallerie dell'Accademia host many works of art from the Veneto Region and the city of Venice made by renowned a...

View

Treviso: The ghost of Bianca di Collalto

castello-collalto
Mysteries & Legends

On the night between October 31 and November 1, telling a scary ghost story is a must... We have one related to the castle of Collalto,...

View

Padua: Prato della Valle in Padua

prato-della-valle
Historical Curiosities

Probably only the inhabitants of Padua and a few other people know of a particular record their city is boasting about: having the larg...

View