Enjoy something colourful and alcoholic to get your summer off to a bright start
My first taste of a spritz was in a small bar on a freezing November night. I’d just arrived in Venice with some old friends and we needed something to celebrate with and we wanted it to be as Italian as possible. Which was when we hit on the Spritz. This traditional Italian aperitif is, as former New York Times columnist Toby Cecchini, would have it “a perfect mirror of the country’s way with things: simple yet dashing.”
I couldn’t agree more for this is one teatime tipple that hits the spot precisely: cool as a cucumber, aromatic enough to be interesting without being bitter, but with enough of a kick to make it celebratory without being a complete sledgehammer to the tastebuds. Add the fizz factor and you have near on perfection.
A couple of days and many more Spritzes later I finally got around to finding out how it was made. In a nutshell: Aperol (an Italian bitter or amari similar in taste and colour to campari, but sweeter and mellower), topped off with a splash of Prosecco and one of fizzy water, an olive and a slice of orange over plenty of ice. We all took gallons of Aperol back to Barcelona with us, but failed to find anyone who would make us one until Santa Marta opened on the beach in Barceloneta a couple of years ago. It’s been part of my summertime ritual ever since, and I think you’ll agree: it’s a whole lot better than a 'Sex on the Beach'.
Santa Marta, Carrer de Grau i Torras 59, Barceloneta. 691 236 801
50 ml Aperol
100 ml Prosecco or Cava brut nature
1 green olive
1 slice orange
Load a large tumbler with 3-4 cubes of ice. Pour over the Aperol and top off with Prosecco and water. Stir well. Add an orange slice and an olive on a cocktail stick. Serve immediately