13 Jan 2018

The origin of the spritz

The aperitif is now an unmissable opportunity for us Italians, a moment in which after work we stop, relax and have a chat with friends, enjoying a good cocktail and various snacks at a table.

The practice of the aperitif, despite only in recent times is having a great success, has very ancient origins. In fact, it dates back to the fifth century, when the Greek physician Hippocrates discovered that to alleviate the inappetence disorders of his patients, it was enough to give them a drink, with a rather bitter taste, based on white wine, dittany flowers, wormwood and rue. This mixture was handed down from century to century, until it reached the wise hands of medieval herbalists who came to the surprising discovery that the bitter taste that released this mixture stimulated the sense of hunger.

The name aperitif derives from the Latin expression “Aperitivus”, which is precisely to indicate “openness” to the sense of hunger, which precedes meals. But the aperitifs are not all the same there are of all types, but only one is the most loved by us Italians. Do you know what drink we are talking about? But certainly of Spritz!

Origins and curiosity

Spritz, is the aperitif par excellence, is native to the area of ”‹”‹Triveneto, and is composed of prosecco, and bitter or Aperol and a sprinkle of seltz. Despite being born in Italy, its construction is due to the Hapsburg soldiers who during the occupation of Veneto in the 800, failing to drink the wines considered too full-bodied Veneto, they used to ask with the expression “spritzen” dell carbonated water to be sprayed in wine to make it lighter and therefore more drinkable for them. Thus was born the first ancestor of spritz, the drink that immediately began to be appreciated not only in popular circles, but also in those of the Austrian nobility, so much so that it became the official drink to be consumed in the most recent events.

Since the 1920s, the Spritz, once again changed taste, in fact the first siphons for the water of seltz were spread and it was decided to mix the bitter with the traditional recipe. This combination was really winning and gave this drink a further touch.

The Spritz today

Today spritz is the undisputed protagonist of our aperitifs. However, each city retains a personal recipe and prepares it in an original way: in Piedmont for example the recipe includes vermouth, seltz and ice, in Trieste you can taste the traditional recipe made of wine and sparkling water, in Venice we use still wine and a local liqueur with a bitter and dry taste, in short, every city has its own spritz!