The Spritz Veneziano is the last and the most worldwide famous version of the symbol of the Venetian nightlife: the Spritz!
Spritz in Venice is more than a drink: it's a symbol of conviviality and sharing. The best way to enjoy the Spritz is by inviting your friends and preparing the famous Cicchetti, typical Venetian small plates and appetizers!
Here the history and the recipes of Spritz Veneziano!
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ORIGIN OF THE SPRITZ
The origin of the Spritz is dated around the 19th century in the territory of Lombardy-Venetia.
It seems that the Hapsburg soldiers didn't like the Venetian vines, considered too strong in alcohol and taste. So, to make the wine lighter, they use to add sparkling water into the wine.
Even the word Spritz derives from the Austrian word Spritzen that means to splash.
The Spritz made just with wine, and sparkling water is still popular in Friuli Venezia-Giulia and made exclusively with Tocai, a local white still wine.
Starting from the 20th century, the sparkling water was replaced by the Seltz.
Finally, around the twenties of the 20th Century, the Spritz has been enriched with a splash of bitter, as we know it today!
A NIGHT IN A VENETIAN BACARO
To understand the Spritz culture in Veneto, you want to visit a Venetian Bacaro or better joint to a Bacaro tour!
But, what is a Bacaro?
A Bacaro is a traditional Venetian tavern where it is typical to serve wines and Spritz along with small plates and appetizers, called Cicchetti (or Cichèti).
The Cicchetti ritual is very similar to the Spanish Tapas (but do not say that out loud into a Bacaro!). The price of the Cicchetti is reasonable, but the quality of these plates and crostini is often pretty high, particularly in the most traditional Bacari.
The Cichetti tour consists of a walk from Bacato to Bacaro, eating and drinking: a great way to live the Venetian traditions, simple and enjoyable!
The traditional Bacaro serve only Cichetti and have not tables, but several restaurants run a Cicchetti bar separate to the tables room.
BEST BACARI IN VENICE
Here some of my preferred Bacari in Venice:
Bacareto da Lele - Fondamenta dei Tolentini, 183
I particularly love this little tiny place, specialized in Ombre, Biancheti, and delicious small sliders stuffed with cured meats and cheese. Open since early morning; it's closed Saturday afternoon and Sunday.
Cantine del Vino già Schiavi - Fondamenta Nani, 992
This is a historic Bacaro close to the famous bar La Toletta. Drinking Spritz in front of its waterfront and seeing the clients arriving by boat it's incomparable!
Cantina do Mori, Campo S. Polo, 429
Near to Ponte Rialto, the atmosphere of this place is terrific: dark and old fashioned. A great choice of Cicchetti, wines, and spritz.
Cà d'oro alla Vedova, Ramo Ca' d'Oro 3912
This restaurant serves a great Venetian menu and runs an excellent Cicchetti bar specialized in fried meatballs and seafood and vegetable fritters.
Among the most popular Cicchetti we have:
Polpette (Fritters and Meatballs): Polpette are deep-fried or stewed and prepared with meat, seafood, or vegetable mixtures. Simple and tasty!
Mozzarella in Carrozza: surprisingly, this classic Neapolitan dish it's also a pillar of Venetian Aperitivo. This is due to the ancient commercial trades between the two cities. The Mozzarella is squeezed between two bread slices, then breaded and fried: delicious!
Sarde in Saor: a symbol of the Venetian cuisine, Sarde in Saor was prepared to feed the sailors. The sardines are fried then marinate for at least 24 hours into a sweet and sour mixture of onions raisin, and pine nuts.
Along with Aperol Spritz Veneziano, Campari spritz is probably the most popular Spriz in Italy. The taste of this spritz is the strongest, bitterest, and most high in alcohol.
A cocktail very similar to Campari Spritz (I'ld say identical...) is the Lumbard Pirlo, a symbol of the city of Brescia nightlife.
Cynar Spritz is a particular spritz incredibly famous in Venice.
The date of the creation of Cynar Spritz is nearly after 1952, the date of the birth of Cynar.
The wine for this Spritz is a Venetian still white wine. Usually, a slice of lemon is preferred to the orange.
The taste if Cynar Spritz is bitter and dryer than Aperol Spritz Veneziano or Select Spritz, but not heavy in alcohol like Campari Spritz.
Select Spritz is another staple of the Venetian Aperitivo. This spirit is considered from many of the original Venetian Spritz.
Select, born in Venice in 1920, a very aromatic liquor made with 30 different herbs.
The Select Spritz is sweet and bitter at the same time, usually enriched with one green olive, a half slice of lemon, and a half slice of orange. Like the Cynar Spritz, traditionally, the white wine is still.
The Aperol spritz has been originally famous in the city of Padua. Traditionally the white wine to prepare the Aperol spritz is sparkling.
The Aperol spritz is the lightest and less alcoholic Spritz among the classics. The taste is fruity and smooth drinking. Usually, it's enriched with a slice of orange.
It is the base and inspiration for the Spritz Veneziano.
WORLDWIDE SPREAD OF THE SPRITZ
The Spritz has been exclusively a Northeast ritual since the first years of the 21st century: before that, spritz was rarely preparing in the rest of Italy.
Likely, the most important event that contributes to spreading the Spritz is the Aperol International advertising campaign of 2008, and the following Spritz bars franchising opening first in several cities in various Italian regions, then in Europe and the rest of the world.
The new International Aperol spritz has been prepared exclusively with Prosecco wine, probably to make the preparation easier outside Italy, and lower the alcohol content.
SPRITZ VENEZIANO IBA
On the 19 of December 2011, during its annual Congress in Warsaw, the IBA (International Bartenders Association) Included the recipe of the new Aperol Spritz in its New Era Cocktails list, calling it Spritz Veneziano.
The official recipe requires 6 parts of Prosecco, 4 parts of Aperol, a splash of Soda water, and a half slice of orange, blend into an old-fashioned glass.
Now, whatever your favorite is, it's time to prepare your Spritz!
- 6 oz Italian Prosecco DOP or DOCG
- 4 oz Aperol
- 1 splash soda water
- ½ slice orange
- 2 to 4 ice cubes
- 1 green olive (optional)
- pour the ice and the orange slice in a glass
- add the Prosecco
- add the Aperol
- optionally garnish with 1 green olive
- Stir and serve (never shake)
Amount Per Serving Calories 427Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 56mgCarbohydrates 46gFiber 0gSugar 42gProtein 0g
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