Something about a hint of spring in the air makes us want to hit the road and lighten our drinks. The book Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail by Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau encourages us to do both with its description of the “Spritz Trail.” Although it’s not an official trail, the authors describe how the Spritz—basically a combination of three parts prosecco, two parts bitter liqueur, such as Aperol or Campari, and one part soda—changes from city to city.
The authors took a 10-day road trip in a tiny Fiat 500 coupe across northern Italy in search of the Spritz, from Venice to Milan to Turin. “In the process, we discovered that the Spritz’s biggest secret is that it really is much more than a recipe or a category of drinks,” they say. “The Spritz is a regional perspective on the aperitif,” signifying a cultural way that certain regions in the north think about aperitifs.
Amid the Dolomites, the Alto Adige Spritz isn’t made with a bitter aperitif; instead, it’s made with acqua santa (holy water), an elderflower cordial that’s often made locally by allowing the flowers and sugar to ferment in the sun. Because fresh elderflower isn’t available in the U.S., St-Germain elderflower liqueur is used instead in this recipe.
- 1/2 ounce St-Germain
- 1 mint sprig
- 4 ounces prosecco, chilled
- 1 ounce soda water, chilled
- Garnish: mint sprig
- Garnish: lemon wheel
Add the St. Germain and mint sprig into a wine glass. Gently muddle and let sit for 3 minutes.
Add ice, the prosecco and the soda water and stir briefly and gently to combine.
Garnish with a mint sprig and a lemon wheel.