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Try the Spritz Veneziano, a bubbly and refreshing Italian cocktail! It pairs Prosecco with Italian bitter liqueur and club soda.

Spritz veneziano

Here’s a classy classic Italian cocktail everyone should know: the Spritz Veneziano! When made with Aperol, it’s popularly known with a different name in the US: the Aperol Spritz! Make this refreshing cocktail the classic Italian way and it’s pure perfection: bubbly and lightly sweet, with a bitter finish. Garnishing with olives brings a briny contrast to the sweet bubbles. It’s ideal in any season: and one of our favorite great classic cocktails.

What’s a Spritz Veneziano?

The Spritz Veneziano (“Venetian spritz”) is an Italian aperitif that combines an Italian bitter liqueur or amaro with Prosecco and soda water. Invented in the 1800’s in Italy, the spritz is a generations-old concept of watering down wine with water. The Spritz Veneziano took on its current form in the 1920’s, when it featured the liqueur Select. Today it’s often made with Aperol, making it the Aperol Spritz: but you can make it with any type of Italian amaro.

Why is the drink so ubiquitous today? The Aperol Spritz rose to massive popularity in the US in the early 2000’s when the Campari Group acquired Aperol and started marketing the drink on a global scale. The International Bartender’s Association (IBA) definition of the drink uses Aperol, which is what we used here. The Spritz Veneziano includes the following ingredients in a 3-2-1 ratio:

  • Aperol, Campari, Cynar or other amaro
  • Prosecco
  • Soda water (aka club soda)
Spritz veneziano

More about Aperol

If you’re not already a fan of Aperol, now’s the time to get acquainted. Aperol is an Italian bitter (amaro) that’s bright orange in color. It’s an aperitif, a drink to stimulate your appetite before a meal. The original aperitif invented back in the 1860’s in Italy was Campari, a more bitter, red amaro. Many sprung up after that, each restaurant boasting its own unique aperitif. Aperol came along in 1919, and it was bought by the Campari company in the 1990’s.

Aperol tastes lightly sweet, bitter, and balanced, with notes of herbs and citrus. It has a fairly low alcohol content (22 proof or 11% ABV). Its flavor is much more approachable than ultra-bitter Campari, which can be polarizing.

More Aperol cocktails? Try the Paper Plane, Naked and Famous, the Spaghett, or this sweet tart Aperol Cocktail.

Other Italian amari: Campari, Cynar and more

You can make a Spritz Veneziano with any type of amaro you like, which essentially makes it into an Amaro Spritz. It has a different flavor with each type of amaro. Here are a few choices of Italian amari that are great in this drink:

  • Campari: very bitter and bright red, it’s the most well-known of all Italian amari
  • Cynar: bittersweet, with notes of caramel, toffee and cinnamon, and an bitter herbal finish
  • Amaro Averna: spicy and herbal, with caramel, anise, citrus, and honey notes
  • Amaro Montenegro: bittersweet with a unique, rose petal finish
  • Amaro Nonino: bitter and sweet, with notes of orange, honey, vanilla, licorice, allspice, mango, pepper, and cocoa
Spritz veneziano

Tips for a great Spritz Veneziano

A Spritz Veneziano is very easy to make: you can simply build it right in the glass! Here are a few tips for making a next-level version of this drink:

  • Use a high quality Prosecco! The key to a great spritz: use great sparkling wine! Grab a mid-price range bottle of Prosecco or champagne with a dry flavor. You don’t want to air on the sweet side.
  • Make sure the amaro and Prosecco are chilled. To minimize dilution, have both of the alcohols chilled as much as possible.
  • Squeeze in an orange! Bring more citrus notes by squeezing in the orange wedge right into the drink.
  • Add an olive. The original Spritz Veneziano was garnished with an olive (a la a Martini). It sounds odd but the briny, salty pop pairs well with the sweet, bitter and bubbly notes. Give it a try!

More spritz recipes

Over here we love a good spritz, especially in the summer! Here are a few more spritz recipes to try:

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Spritz veneziano

Spritz Veneziano


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x

Description

Try the Spritz Veneziano, a bubbly and refreshing Italian cocktail! It pairs Prosecco with Italian bitter liqueur and club soda.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 ounces* Aperol, Campari or Cynar
  • 3 ounces Prosecco or other sparkling wine, chilled
  • 1 splash soda water
  • Skewer with green olives, to garnish
  • Ice (try clear ice!)

Instructions

  1. Add the Aperol to a glass filled with ice and stir. Top with the sparkling wine and soda water.
  2. Squeeze in the orange wedge and stir gently. Garnish with a skewer of green olives and serve.

Notes

*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons. You can also substitute any type of Italian amaro.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Spritz Veneziano

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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