Imagine sitting in an Italian square sipping something - what do you have in the glass?
This isn't a test or trick question because it's probably a splatter - more specifically, a splatterAperol Spritz. The popularity of this liqueur is so great that you might wonder if the third color on the Italian flag shouldn't be more orange than red (although the Irish would rather not like that).
On a side note, the ubiquitous Aperol Spritz is no coincidence. Excellent marketing not only made the drink synonymous with aperitivo hour, but also created a modern aperitivo culture in Italy.
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But what do the Italians think of this phenomenon?
Italian culture is by no means homogeneous. The regions - each with their own history and culinary tradition - have only been officially united under one flag since 1871. The way one town prepares Sunday ragù is most likely different than the other town 20 miles away. The same often applies to drinking habits.
With tourism returning to pre-pandemic levels, splash-hungry visitors will flock to the country this summer in hopes of endless orange aperitifs. But how culturally correct are these dreams?
Define the splash life
However, spray culture has existed in Veneto since the 19th centuryAperolwas founded only in 1919. In the same year, the two Barbieri brothers, who ran their father's alcohol business in Padua, created a living, low-alcohol orange elixir. It turned out to be a brilliant addition to an existing Spritz that was brilliant white only in Padua or still white in Venice, a nod to the drink's Austrian origins. "Spritz" means "spritz" in German, the term coined in the late 1800s when Austrians in Veneto reportedly found the local wines too intense and so demanded onesprayingFrom water.
In the 1950s, Aperol (along with Select, another popular Venetian bitter) flourished as an economic force in Veneto and post-war Italyprosperous. Aperol was easy to mix into a spritz and won the thirst of the locals with its bright color and the thirst of the bartenders with its simplicity.
While the Aperol website is proudboasts"together since 1919", the reference really only applies to themVeneto Region. Sales of Aperol were mainly limited to the north until the early 2000s, around the time Gruppo Campari took over the brand in 2003.
It was then that Campari did something brilliant. Before the company could make Aperol a global sensation, it had to win over all Italians. So the company went south - which makes sense, as Raffaele Bellomi, a Veneto native and owner of the Amaro and Archivio bars in Verona, points out: "If you're Aperol and you want to sell your product, you don't go there to sell it where it has already been sold [i.e. H. Veneto, Fruili and Lombardy.]”
But Campari didn't just sell Aperol looking for bargains in the South, the company did it to take advantage of the summerSweet lifea lifestyle that would become synonymous with spritz. Ironically, many associate the drink with images of the Italian South — home to the beautiful vistas depicted on Reels or TikToks — but the region didn't have an established aperitivo culture like the North. "This is aperitivo country," says Bellomi. - But not completely. The further south you go, the fewer aperitifs there are.
For the so-calledAperol Spritz-Revolutie" (zinKampariinvented), many southern Italians didn't drink much before dinner. "We drink espresso. It's a drink," says Giacomo Vanacore, who grew up in Vico Equense, a town in Campania bordering the more famous Sorrento.
Vanacore, who now runs the La Sorrentina family business in North Bergen, New Jersey, vividly remembers the moment when Aperol took control of his hometown. “When I returned to work in Italy at age 18, I saw the first real change in my city — everything was orange,” says Vanacore, who returned to work at a restaurant in 2003 during the tourist season. “It felt like someone had attacked him – I felt like I was in the Netherlands!”
This dialogue is not intended to fuel discussions about whether and how the North has adopted the culture of the South. As Vanacore explains, walking, being together, and accepting the "new" came naturally in his home region, so he wasn't surprised how quickly the spritz caught on. But relaxing and having a drink in the square before dinner - especially for younger people - was nothing until the arrival of the Aperol Spritz. "If you're 18 or 20 and you're sitting in my hometown drinking beer, people are going to think there's something wrong with you," says Vanacore.
Then came Campari's provocative summer campaigns, in which orange umbrellas and women in bikinis gave away more than sunglasses - they sold a lifestyle. The Aperol Spritz has become a social symbol of the youth of southern Italy. "When the spritz came out, the kids said, 'Don't you drink spritz?' What's wrong with you?' says Vanacore.
Kudos to Campari for making it happen, because who wouldn't want to enjoy it on the Sorrento or Amalfi coast? After all, these are the perfect conditions for it#spritzlife. "If you want to sell it abroad in other countries, don't show it to people in the fog in Verona in November, but show it in a nice square in Rome," says Bellomi. With the advent of the social media era, it was only natural that this youthful, sexy and summery aperitivo lifestyle would catch on. And the boy did.
With beautiful piazzas and an idyllic coastline, it wasn't hard to sell the newfound idea of aperitivo culture once it found its perfect place. Italy has long had a revolving door for tourists. But it was not the visits to Italy that sparked the interest in aperitivo culture - it was an external projection of the concept of this reality. “Ten or fifteen years ago, so many tourists came to Verona and asked, 'What kind of orange is this? says Bello. "People didn't know about it at the time and they ordered, but they didn't like it."
Then came the rise of social media in the 2010s, and with it came Campari's crusade to bring Spritz culture to the world. The company advertised the Aperol Spritz as the real "Italian aperitifthrough his very colorful 2017 US media campaign. First stop: brunch crowd.
With the creation of the Aperol Brunch Society, the campaign encouraged influencers to create videos about why they should become Chief Brunch Officers. An impressive result has been achieved200 million media views and an increase of up to 45 percentfor sale at Aperol.
The fruits of these efforts made the Aperol Spritz the "Rosé All Day" of 2017 and 2018. The drink's summer promotions painted cities like New York orange and stunned bartenders with a simple "3-2-1" recipe.
To fully consolidate this trend, there was a sharp backlash against the drink. A controversial 2019 New York Times article titled "Aperol Spritz is not a nice drinkcaused a stir on Twitter - and, for that matter, on all the social channels popular at the time. But that didn't stop the love, because the Aperol Spritz is actually an exceptionally tasty drink. And the success of the spritz is never based on the quality of the drink itself, but rather the image behind it.
"To me, [the] Aperol Spritz captures something fleeting, something that exists or maybe doesn't exist," says Bellomi. "And these are projects outside of Italy." With the sale of Aperolalmost twiceAs of 2017, we can be sure that the #spritzlife lifestyle will continue to evolve. But - again - what do Italians think of spreading an aperitif culture that is not entirely authentic to the whole country?
italian coca cola
Twenty years after Gruppo Campari took over Aperol, orange spritzers have become an integral part of the Italian bar scene. As tourism returns to normal after intense pandemic restrictions -some numbersThe 2022 show saw a 94 percent increase in attendance — we can only assume that Spritz sales will continue to rise as well.
Italian bartenders are prepared and grateful. Tourists support the Italian economy. However, this does not take away the cultural differences that Aperol Spritz brings to his country.
As a bar owner, Bellomi sees locals and tourists interacting with the bar culture on a daily basis. He also sees that the behavior of tourists is different from that of residents of Veneto. For him, the spritz introduced tourists to the aperitif culture, which is important to the bar industry. However, this does not mean that Italians spend the afternoon sipping sparkling orange aperitifs. Italians don't always have holidays.
Even Vanacore, who proudly drinks an Aperol Spritz on vacation, considers the drink seasonal. "It's strictly a summer thing," he says, contrasting the drink's history in Veneto as a pre-dinner habit.
Most impressive, however, is how the Aperol Spritz has become one of the few unifying symbols in a country with a fragmented history - where dialects and dishes differ from region to region and even from city to city. Today, spritz can be found in every bar, from Milan to Reggio Calabria.
However, this doesn't mean that all Italians are out on the courts drinking spritzers. Many do not even like this drink - thisJerry Thomas Speakeasyin Rome they are known to refuse to sell them - and many people, like Vanacore, were not brought up in this tradition.
Anyway, Gruppo Campari has managed to create a new image of Italian drinking culture. The company painted Italy orange, sent Aperol Spritz abroad, seduced countless drinkers and brought them back to Italy hungry for more. It was an undeniable victory for the country's tourism sector, although the accuracy with which it portrays Italian traditions remains a more subjective matter.
Wherever you end up in this debate, the Aperol Spritz - much like Coca-Cola in America - isn't going anywhere.
Published: March 21, 2023
Do Italians actually drink Aperol Spritz? ›
Aperol Spritz is a classic Italian cocktail and the most popular aperitivo drink in Italy. It is served in a large stemmed wine glass and has a signature orange color that makes it easy to recognize: if you are in Italy in the summer, you will easily spot it on outdoor tables, enjoyed by locals and visitors alike!Is Aperol Spritz popular in Europe? ›
The coral-hued Spritz Veneziano (also known as Aperol Spritz) is one of the most popular aperitif cocktails in Italy. It is made with a combination of prosecco (3 parts), Aperol (2 parts), and a splash of soda water.What country is known for Aperol Spritz? ›
Inspired by the 'Spritzer' (German for splash), the perfect ratio of three parts Italian prosecco, two parts Aperol and a splash of soda became a popular drink at Aperitivo occasions throughout Italy. As the decades passed, Aperol Spritz' iconic hue became a common sight at bars and cafes.Where is Aperol Spritz most popular? ›
Aperol Spritz is the city's signature drink, dating back to the Spritz Veneziano of the 1920s. Served with a splash of sparkling Prosecco straight from the Veneto wine region, this orange-hued cocktail remains one of the most popular drinks in Italy.What is the national drink of Italy? ›
Campari - Characterized by its dark red color and bitter flavor, Campari is the National Drink of Italy. Born in the Piedmont city of Novara, this distinct Italian alcoholic liqueur is made from the infusion of herbs and fruit in alcohol and water. It's an acquired taste for sure, but it's ever-present in Italy.What do Italians eat with Aperol Spritz? ›
Arancini take their name from their resemblance to little oranges (arancine), making them the perfect food to pair with an Aperol Spritz. Arancini originated in Sicily, but they're now enjoyed all over Italy – and the world!What is the difference between Aperol and Veneziano spritz? ›
Spritz Veneziano Frequently Asked Questions
Select is a Venetian spirit that is similar to Aperol in that they share the same mellow flavor, but Select has more complexity with notes of vanilla, citrus and a bit of bitterness.
Widely popular in Europe, especially France and Italy, Apéritif is a refreshing alcoholic drink served before a meal to whet one's appetite. While it is mostly served as a liquid appetiser, Apéritifs can also be enjoyed as an alcoholic beverage on its own, to wind down after work or during happy hour.What is the French equivalent of Aperol Spritz? ›
Germain spritz. If you're going to order a spritz in France, eschew Italian imposter Aperol and opt for a French version instead. The St. Germain spritz is made with prosecco and sparkling water to exactly the same measures, just with the fragrant St.What does Aperol mean in Italian? ›
Aperol is an Italian bitter apéritif made of gentian, rhubarb and cinchona, among other ingredients. It has a vibrant orange hue. Its name comes from apero, a French slang word for apéritif.
Which is better Aperol or Campari? ›
Aperol is Italy's favorite light aperitif, while Campari is the world's most famous. They're both somewhat bitter, but Aperol is a little less so, and therefore a tad sweeter. Aperol is bright orange in color, and its flavor is described as spicy orange-rhubarb.Where in Italy is Aperol Spritz best? ›
A local's guide to Padua, Italy: home of the Aperol spritz and ancient wonders.Why are Aperol Spritz so popular in Europe? ›
“There were two major influences that pushed Aperol Spritz to the top: a rising consumer trend of 'light' drinks for social engagements and pro-natural young adults who want to stray away from artificial agents.” He believes that more people are coming to hard spirits later and drinking less of them.How much is an Aperol Spritz in Italy? ›
In Bologna, an aperitivo Aperol Spritz, with food, will cost around €7-8. Just the Italian spritz is usually around €5-6. The Aperol price in Italy is also more expensive than in other European countries. Where we live in Girona Spain, we can order an Aperol Spritz at bar for between €3.50-3.75!Is Aperol good for your stomach? ›
A few sips of an Aperol spritz with friends and family has a calming effect and helps slow the pace of dinner as we wait for our meal. Not doing so tends to lead to overeating and a variety of stomach issues such as bloating and upset stomach.What alcohol do Italians like most? ›
It should come as no surprise that wine is one of the most popular Italian drinks. Both the production and consumption of wine play an important role in Italian history and culture. But going to a bar in Italy and ordering a 'glass of wine' is a sure-fire way of pointing yourself out as a tourist.What is the most drunk drink in Italy? ›
Negroni is made from one part of gin, one part of Campari, and one part of red Vermouth, and garnished with a slice of orange. This famous Italian beverage is now one of the most common cocktails in the world. The Negroni family set up a distillery that still makes a readily mixed version called the Antico Negroni.What is the best companion for Aperol Spritz? ›
You'll find Aperol is the perfect match for the seafood, earthy beetroot and herbal fennel. Toast to another memorable family lunch and finish with an Aperol on the rocks, or 'spritzed' with prosecco and a splash of soda as you serve up the Christmas pav.When to order an Aperol Spritz in Italy? ›
Known as an aperitivo, taking place between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. in bars throughout Italy, this is a civilized way to wind down from the stress of the day and to whet your appetite for dinner.Do you drink Aperol Spritz before or after dinner? ›
They are a tummy settler – Spritz is enjoyed as an aperitif before a meal, this helps stimulate the appetite and get your body for all the delicious foods about to come its way. Feeling full after eating, don't worry, Aperol's got you. It also works as a great digestive after a meal.
What is in an Aperol Spritz in Spain? ›
- 1/3 of sparkling water.
- 1/3 Aperol Spritz (or Campari for a bitter version)
- 1/3 cup of Cava.
- 2 Orange slices.
There are numerous variations of the spritz by region. In addition to Aperol, Campari, Select, Cynar or China Martini are used. You can find the variant with red wine in Friuli Venezia Giulia. In Brescia there is the variant called Pirlo, in which still white wine is used instead of sparkling wine.What is the world's largest Aperol Spritz? ›
The world's largest Spritz was contained in a classically shaped tumbler measuring 1.5m high and 1.3m in diameter. It contained 500 litres of prosecco, 333 litres of Aperol, 167 litres of soda water and 15 giant ice cubes measuring 18x20cm each. The drink was topped off with a single slice of orange.When did Aperol Spritz become so popular? ›
Aperol came to be in 1919, but it wasn't until a 1990's marketing campaign that really launched this orange liqueur into a global phenomenon. Picture an advertisement filled with young, attractive, carefree people drinking Aperol in the daytime.What is better than Aperol? ›
If you typically find Aperol Spritzes to be too sweet, try a Campari Spritz instead. Campari, which is also an Italian aperitif, is more bitter than Aperol, and has a significantly higher alcohol content as well. The result is a more intense drink that will give you a pleasant buzz.What's the difference between Aperol Spritz and Negroni? ›
The Negroni is made, of course, with gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. And the Aperol spritz usually is made with Aperol and/or prosecco," he explained. "So, what we're doing with a Negroni is we're replacing the gin, with prosecco or sparkling wine."Is Aperol Spritz from Rome? ›
The Aperol Spritz originates from Venice, but it's not uncommon nowadays to see a sea of distinct orange line tables and bars across Rome at aperitivo time.Why is Aperol so popular in Italy? ›
is an Italian aperitif, originally created in 1919 by bartender Raimondo Ricci. The drink was invented as a means to combat the heat and humidity of Italy's summer months. It became popular among people who wanted something light to sip on before dinner.Is crodino similar to Aperol? ›
Is Crodino like Aperol? Cordino is a non-alcoholic bitter aperitif that has a similar taste to Aperol. Both are made of herbal extracts and quinine, which make up their characteristic bitter flavor. Plus, Crodino also has sweet orange aromas and vanilla notes.Should Aperol be refrigerated? ›
Once opened, storing Aperol in the refrigerator will keep it fresh for up to three months. As is the case with other spirits on this list, Aperol is most commonly enjoyed chilled, anyway, so keeping it in the refrigerator is more convenient for drink-making anyway.
How much is an Aperol Spritz in Rome? ›
The aperol spritz is only euro 4.50 compared to euro 8 or 9 which I have paid in other restaurants. It was very good. For 1st glass,they put lemon and we requested they put orange in 2nd glass which is better.What is the dominant Flavour of the Aperol Spritz? ›
Juicy orange mingles with the aroma of herbs and a slight hint of vanilla, creating a smooth and well-rounded fragrance. The bitterness of the herbs also complements the crispness of Aperol's lightly alcoholic undertones.Is Limoncello stronger than Aperol? ›
A drink that became very popular a few years ago is Aperol Spritz. This is a bit similar, but instead of orange liqueur, Limoncello is used here, which is a lemon liqueur and a little stronger in alcohol than Aperol.Do people drink Aperol on its own? ›
Drinking Aperol on its own
Aperol really does not need any mixer or addition added to it and its light flavor makes it perfect for just that. This is not like drinking other liquor straight up that may be too overpowering. Aperol makes a great drink to sip in its pure form without any harsh bite.
We were shocked to discover Aperol spritz cost between €6-€12 each near the Duomo in Florence.Is there a lot of alcohol in Aperol Spritz? ›
Aperol Spritz is a low alcohol aperitif
With an alcohol percentage of just 11%, Aperol Spritz is a great choice if you're choosing to moderate your drinking.
Each spritz is available in three sizes, priced respective at €2, €4 and €6.Is Aperol an acquired taste? ›
Like any bitter liqueur or amaro, Aperol is an acquired taste, but it will likely appeal to most drinkers. “This is a good entry-level aperitivo,” says Bezuidenhout. Reiner calls Aperol “Campari with training wheels,” in reference to the more bitter amaro that stars in the Negroni.What alcohol is easiest on stomach? ›
According to the pH level, gin, tequila, and non-grain vodkas are the lowest acidity options; choosing drinks made with these alcohols will be best on your stomach. You'll be best served by a drink made with a light juice like apple, pear, or cranberry, but sometimes you just really want that kick of citrus.Why is my Aperol Spritz bitter? ›
Adjust the flavors
Less bitter: Using too much Aperol can make your cocktails taste bitter. To avoid this, use less Aperol in the spritz and replace it with more prosecco.
Do people drink Aperol Spritz? ›
The aperol spritz is commonly served as an apéritif.
Apéritifs are designed to be served before a meal to stimulate the appetite. They're typically lightly alcoholic and more dry than sweet.
A cocktail for men? Men love the orange-coloured tipple more than women. The Aperol Spritz is their third favourite cocktail on Business Insider's shortlist, whereas for women it comes in at fourth, (overall the Spritz remains in 2nd place because of how popular it is for both genders in Europe!)Why is Aperol Spritz so popular now? ›
“There were two major influences that pushed Aperol Spritz to the top: a rising consumer trend of 'light' drinks for social engagements and pro-natural young adults who want to stray away from artificial agents.” He believes that more people are coming to hard spirits later and drinking less of them.Why did Aperol become so popular? ›
Identifying Aperol as the perfect drink for post-recession Italy, with its affordability, lower alcohol content and natural ingredients, Gruppo Campari promoted the spritz as a “fun aperitivo”, lifting spirits among bar-goers and providing an alternative to heavier spirits.Is Aperol Spritz high in sugar? ›
Aperol Spritz contains 11 grams of sugar per 4-ounce serving, so it should be consumed in moderation. Overall, Aperol Spritz can be a healthier alternative to other cocktails when consumed in moderation, and it has the added benefit of being low-calorie, low-alcohol, and easy to make.Is Aperol an Italian bitter? ›
Aperol is an Italian bitter apéritif made of gentian, rhubarb and cinchona, among other ingredients. It has a vibrant orange hue. Its name comes from apero, a French slang word for apéritif.Is Aperol a stimulant? ›
According to Marquis, more than simply tasting good and being refreshing, aperitifs actually act as a stimulant for the appetite. All sorts of different fortified wines, liqueurs, and alcohols, including Aperol, fall into the aperitif arena.What is the best club soda for Aperol Spritz? ›
Fever-Tree's soda-like bubbles and slightly acidic flavor makes it the best club soda for Aperol Spritz lovers. The bubbles will mimic and complement the bubbles from the Prosecco, and the bright but not overpowering acidity will brighten the zesty, bittersweet Aperol even more.
Campari never tasted this delicious! My Pink Fizz cocktail is the perfect combination of flavours and texture – it's the most delicious hit of sweet and sour and a cinch to shake up at home… This Campari cocktail is a new spin on Italy's favourite aperitif.