The origins of the Spritz are not known for certain, but it is said to have been created during the Austrian occupation of Italy in the 19th century. The name came from the German verb spritzen, meaning “to spray”, or from the name given to Austrian wines from the western region of Wachau. German soldiers quickly became accustomed to drinking the local wines of Veneto in local taverns but, since their alcohol content was much higher than the beer they were used to drinking, they often diluted it with water.
This gave rise to the white Spritz, which can still be found in a number of bars in Trieste and Udine. As time passed, the ritual of the aperitif spread from Veneto to the rest of Italy, with many different versions of the Veneto Spritz becoming popular.
Many towns in Veneto have their own variation of the Spritz, but for more than a decade Aperol Spritz with Prosecco and soda water has become the most frequently ordered and consumed variety: light, cool and sparkling, it is the ideal aperitif for any occasion.
In Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige, the Aperol Spritz is a popular ritual that people, both young and old. In recent years it has become fashionable to drink it as an aperitif before dinner. It is undoubtedly the most widespread and commonly drank aperitif: a traditional ice-breaker and a symbol of the lively atmosphere of the city. In country inns, as well as in town centre bars, the Aperol Spritz is served with the ever-present cicchetti (as Veneto’s traditional savoury snacks are known), mostly made with local produce. Depending on whether the location is by the sea or in the mountains, these can include cold meats, cheeses, grilled vegetables and fish, and are always well-presented in varying combinations on bar counters.
Nowadays, the Aperol Spritz has become very popular throughout Italy, as a result of word of mouth recommendations among young people and because of its unique qualities: it is lightly alcoholic, easy to combine with food & always popular