Probably the most typical of Venetian rituals is for friends to meet in the evening at their favourite ‘bacaro’ (a particular type of Venetian winebar) and have a spritz together, before going home for dinner.
Spritz is our aperitif, made with white wine (possibly prosecco), soda water and liquor. Ice, a slice of orange and an olive (green or black) are a must.
The problem comes when the barman asks you which type of spritz you want because you can choose among 4 different liquors.
FOUR DIFFERENT TYPES OF SPRITZ
Spritz al Bitter: This is the strongest. It has a dark red colour typical of Bitter Campari. In the past, it was the choice of men, but things have changed. It is very, very good but take care! A couple of ‘spritz al bitter’ and you will feel really dizzy.
Spritz all’Aperol: the most famous, you can drink it also out of Italy now. Its orange colour and mild flavour make it the perfect drink before dining.
Spritz al Select: usually only Venetians ask for this. It is considered the ‘only authentic spritz’ because Select is a liquor born in Venice where it used to be produced for decades. The taste is rich because it is composed of 30 botanicals including rhubarb roots and juniper berries.
Spritz al Cynar: this is usually drunk by wise elderly Venetians. Cynar is an old fashioned artichoke based bittersweet liqueur. Its brown colour makes it definitely less fascinating but it is really tasty and digestive. Very refreshing in the summer.
In the summer we also often opt for a refreshing and milder kind of spritz: Spriz bianco. No liquor, just white wine, soda, a slice of lemon, ice and an olive.
And now just a suggestion about a nice place to get a special spritz: Bar Angiò, in Castello, the district where the story of Select began in 1920. Sit at one of its tables in front of the lagoon and, if you are lucky, you can also enjoy the perfect sunset.
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