The History Of The Aperol Spritz Cocktail, The Summer Favourite

The Aperol Spritz is one of those drinks that seems to have come out of nowhere to take the world by storm. One minute, no one had ever heard of it, and the next, it was the drink of choice for everyone who wanted to feel sophisticated and trendy. But where did it come from? And why has it become so popular?

First off, let's talk about the drink itself. The Aperol Spritz is a simple cocktail made with Aperol, Prosecco, and soda water. It's typically served in a wine glass with ice and a slice of orange, and it's the perfect summer drink: light, refreshing, and not too sweet. 

Where Did The Spritz Come From?

The story of the Aperol Spritz begins in Italy, where Aperol has been a popular aperitif since the early 20th century. Aperol is a bitter orange liqueur that's made with a secret blend of herbs and spices, and it's been a staple of Italian drinking culture for decades. But it wasn't until the early 2000s that the Aperol Spritz as we know it today started to gain popularity, to trace the true origins we need to go back to before Aperol even existed.

It all started in the 1800s in Veneto, a region of northeast Italy which was then controlled by Austria-Hungary. Veneto is known for its wine, but visitors to the region often found it too strong for their tastes so they were diluted with a splash – or a ‘spritzen’ in German – of water.

Where Was Aperol First Made?

So we have the spiritz, but the Aperol was still missing. It actually didn’t come on the scene until the 1900s when Luigi and Silvio Barbieri took over the family liquor business and from 1912 to 1919 started experimenting with new flavours. They unveiled their creation a bold and colourful Aperol that was named after the French slang for an aperitif, “Apero”. The recipe is top secret but it contains bitter and sweet oranges with notes of rhubarb.

Soon it became a favourite base for spritzes and by 1950 the citrus notes and effervescent nature made it a summer favourite. According to official statements from the Aperol group, the official Aperol Spritz is always 3 parts Prosecco, 2 parts Aperol and 1 part soda. A 3-2-1 recipe with a simplicity that everyone embraced.

Why Did Aperol Spritz Become Popular Again?

So why has the Aperol Spritz become so popular? Well, for one thing, it's the perfect summer drink. It's light and refreshing and not too sweet, which makes it the ideal cocktail for sipping on a hot summer day. But it's also become something of a status symbol. Drinking an Aperol Spritz is a way of saying "I'm sophisticated and trendy." It's the drink of choice for people who want to be seen as cosmopolitan and worldly.

But there's also something else going on here. The Aperol Spritz is part of a larger trend towards bitter drinks. For years, sweet cocktails like the Cosmopolitan and the Margarita were the drinks of choice for people who wanted to feel fancy. But in recent years, there's been a shift towards more bitter and complex cocktails. Drinks like the Negroni and the Manhattan have become more popular, and the Aperol Spritz is part of that trend.

And let's not forget about social media. The Aperol Spritz is a very photogenic drink, with its bright orange colour and slice of orange garnish. It's the perfect drink for Instagram, and it's become something of a social media phenomenon. People love to post pictures of themselves sipping on an Aperol Spritz, and that's helped to fuel its popularity.

But here's the thing: the Aperol Spritz might be trendy, but it's also a really good drink. It's light and refreshing and not too sweet, and it's the perfect drink for sipping on a hot summer day. And it's incredibly easy to make. All you need is Aperol, Prosecco, and soda water, and you can whip up a batch in no time. 

So while the Aperol Spritz might be the drink of the moment, it's also a classic cocktail that's likely to stick around for a while. And who knows, maybe in a few years we'll all be sipping on something else. But for now, the Aperol Spritz is the drink that's taken the world by storm, and it shows no signs of slowing down. So next time you're looking for something to cool you down on a hot day, reach for an Aperol Spritz and join the trend.