Sandra and Nancy asked about spritz in the comments to the last post, so I wanted to write a quick note about spritz. Spritz is an aperitivo that is common in the Veneto and surrounding regions. (On this trip I had them in regions that border the Veneto, such as the Trentino and Emilia-Romagna, but I also had it in Lecce so although it comes from the Veneto, it seems to be available in a lot of places.)
Spritz can be made several ways, but the most common version is spritz made with Aperol. Aperol is an Italian aperitivo made by the Campari company. It is a beautiful orange color (and in my opinion tastes nothing like Campari.) Aperol only has 11% alcohol. Spritz is made with either prosecco or white wine, Aperol, and some sparkling water. I think the ones I had were most often made with white wine, although the prosecco ones are delicious! You can also make spritz with Campari but I didn't see that much.
Spritz is a wonderful pre-dinner drink because it is not too alcoholic (important when drinking on an empty stomach!) and because it is refreshing and delicious, of course. I can't think of a better end of a day, beginning of an evening than to sip a spritz in a beautiful town square, while munching on some chips or other aperitivo type snacks. Yum!
To order it, simply ask for "uno spritz". Some places that automatically meant with Aperol, other places they asked - you can add "con Aperol" to make sure.
Aperol is sold in the US and many European countries so it is easy to make at home. We are experimenting with the best ways to mix it - opening a bottle of prosecco when you only need a little bit seems silly so we have been using mostly white wine - but for a party, I want to use the prosecco!
There seems to be many differing opinions on the proportions of a spritz - some say equal parts Aperol and wine, others say one third to two thirds, then a dash of sparkling water.
Spritz and snacks in Bolzano: