Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and with COVID, some of us have) then you know that European apéritifs are fast outpacing traditional American cocktails in popularity. They’re lighter, more refreshing, and somehow more chic. In general, they’re effortless to make and do not require anyone who calls themselves a “mixologist”. Isn’t that a blessing?
In Paris, le spritz has managed to stay à la mode for a good two years now, but let’s face it: Aperol and champagne can be a recipe for one hell of a headache.
It was on a humid afternoon in Venice that we discovered one of the most refreshing spritzes we’ve ever had. The crushing heat of the day forced us to retreat to the Gritti Palace where we sought refuge in the dim light of the Bar Longhi.
“Dare we order a spritz?” I said, afraid that we might seem too trendy or worse — pedestrian. But our waiter offered a Spritz made with fresh tangerines. He used Vincenzi Aperitivo — a less aggressive bitter than Aperol and it married nicely with the citrus. The final touch was a prosecco by Bisol that wasn’t too sweet or cloying.
Suddenly a voice from another table: “Is that a tequila sunrise?” We gave the woman a blank stare and muttered, “non parlo inglese.”
Venetian Tangerine Spritz (not a tequila sunrise)
2 ounces of freshly squeezed tangerine juice
¾ ounce of Vincenzi Aperitivo, or Campari
2 ounces of prosecco
Briefly stir the juice and bitter liqueur together in a shaker or tall glass and then pour into a stemmed coupe filled with crushed ice. Top with a floater of prosecco and garnish with a slice of tangerine or a spiral of the rind.