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Venetian Spritz

A Splash of Venice in Every Glass
Story and photos by Tom Weber

colorful masks during the Ccarnevale in Venice

When you think of Venice, what immediately comes to mind?

A gondolier navigating his craft?

Revelers hiding behind colorful masks during Carnevale?

The landmark Rialto Bridge?

The bustling traffic along the Grand Canal?

St. Mark's Square, "Europe's living room"?

Perhaps, all of those pigeons?

The personal images of Venice are endless. Everyone who has ever laid eyes on La Serenissima (The Serene) leaves with an indelible mark that's carried within for the rest of time.

And, that is the magic that is Venice.

the Grand Canal, Venice

Just think if we could bottle it all up and uncork it now and then to be momentarily whisked back to the "City of Canals."

the Venetian Spritz

Well, believe it or not, you can. Meet lo Spritz Veneziano (the Venetian Spritz), the preferred aperitivo (cocktail) of residents around "the Lagoon," and now the signature drink of the Bel Paese.

a bottle of Aperol, a low alchoholic drink from the Barbieri brothers

Born out of the common practice of spritzen (German for splashing) – diluting glasses of wine with splashes of water – during the 19th century occupation of Venice by the Austrian Empire, lo Spritz Veneziano came to life shortly after World War I when the Barbieri brothers – Luigi and Silvio – created a spirit low in alcohol: Aperol.

olives and a bottle of Aperol

They unveiled their fluorescent-orange colored liquor to much fanfare at the 1919 Padova Exhibition. An amaro (bitter), Aperol is an infusion of 30 herbs and roots, orange and rhubarb.

When mixed just right, it's transformed into a fashion-forward statement that distinctly says VENEZIA, where the anonymous religiously take their ombra (shade) – the late morning AND late afternoon cocktail break.

So, how do you prep lo Spritz Veneziano? If you'll step inside my virtual gondola, I'll show you.

Spritz Veneziano ingredients

Step-1: In a rocks, tumbler or wine glass, drop in the ice cubes

Step-2: Pour in the Prosecco wine

Step-3: Add a dash of sparking or seltzer water

Step-4: Pour in the Aperol

Step-5: Garnish with an orange slice and a green olive

Born out of one war, perfected following another. The Spritz Veneziano, the preferred cocktail of La Serenissima, the signature drink of Italy, and the envy of the rest of the world.

another view of the Grand Canal, Venice

view of a building along the Grand Canal from a gondola, Venice

Just one sip and you'll feel like you're back in Venice, seated at a small outdoor café, idly watching the gondolas glide by.


Care to Share?
Do you have any favorite recipes that you
picked up in one of your travels?
Can you share them with us?
Click here and send them
to Audrey.

Visit other recipes:
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Super Bowl Recipes
Clayton Lettuce - Delicious!
Lazy Person's Spaghetti con Gamberetti In Aglio, Olio e Peperocino
Sgroppino: Venice Untied
Lazy Person's Farfalle con Piselli e Pancetta
Lazy Person's Raviolini In Butter and Sage
A Penne Peppered Pranzo With Pavarotti
Lazy Person's Blazing Saddles Bean Soup
Hugo: The Alpine Spritz
A Splash of Venice in Every Glass
Lazy Person's "Taste the Salt" Pasta
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Lazy Person's Semolina No. 5 In Red Sauce Minor
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Lazy Person's Golden Rush Bell Pepper Sauce
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A McDreamy McMeel
The English Countryside: Fresh Food & Real Ale

Hi Audrey,

Love your lamb shanks.

--- Paul, Scottsdale AZ

Haven't been called Tad for . . .gee, maybe I've NEVER been called Tad . . . guess I'm the only one with chutzpah enough to mention Bourdain. BRILLIANT?

--- Ken, Shutesbury, MA

I think we must have had an entirely different experience in the UK. (Fresh Food and Real Ale – week 1). We were up in Edinburgh and they served something called ‘Neeps & Tatties.’ The items were boiled so long that I couldn’t even recognize what I was eating. Come to think of it… I couldn’t taste them either. Later I found that Neeps’ are Turnips and ‘Tatties’ are potatoes.

--- Lindy, Phoenix, AZ

My mouth was watering as I read some of your descriptions of the fantastic fare of ... England? I had always felt smug about the lowly reputation of British cuisine as this gave us at least one country with a worse culinary reputation than America's. I guess I'll have to change my views. Your article made me actually want to take a CULINARY tour of Britain. Yummy yummy yummy.

--- Sandy Miner, Portland, OR

Thanks for your note. Thanks to Traveling Boy I get to interview a world famous chef this week who is widely recognized as spearheading the Yummy movement in Ireland. Guess I'll have to take yet another culinary tour a little further north and check it out... (I love my job!) --- Audrey

Very interesting, mouth-watering piece by Audrey! (A McDreamy McMeel). Your web site is fascinating!

--- Susie, Victoria, BC

Combining travel, food, and intelligent advice -- BRILLIANT! Your site fills a long-felt need for hungry roamers. Keep it up! It's Anthony Bourdain with reservations and CLASS.

--- Tad, Boston, MA

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