There is an immense beauty in foreign language. Take ‘schadenfreude’, the single German word meaning ‘pleasure derived from the misfortune of others. That condensed complexity; it’s blissful. Take a voyage through the world of cocktails, and you’ll discover a similarly amazing word, meaning something even more complex…
Imagine the sensation of heat exhaustion blissfully cooled and melting away into a sense of Mediterranean tranquillity, all wrapped up in the distant scent of a wood-oven pizza, now drifting into a certain cocktail bar in Exeter city centre….
The word we’re talking about, my friends, is ‘Spritz’.
Along with a tray of aperitivos, the vibrant orange hue of an Aperol Spritz is the guiding light and valiant saviour for many during the summer months. And that’s exactly why it’s our chosen cocktail of the month.
Not just for the overworked teacher seeking respite in a cocktail bar in Exeter city centre; the Aperol Spritz is, in fact, the most commonly drunk aperitif in Italy.
To celebrate the Spritz this month, we thought we’d share our favourite twists on the old classic.
1. The classic spritz
Originating from the classic Venetian combination of white wine and soda, the Aperol Spritz (or Spritz Veneziano) was born in the 1950s. It’s a ‘3-2-1’ cocktail with the ingredients of Prosecco, Aperol and Soda Water in this proportion.
Served on the rocks with a slice of orange, the Aperol Spritz sits comfortably on the boundary between a casual and formal drink, and is a popular choice for socialising. The alcohol content is relatively low at around 11%, so it’s an easy-going drink with an unbeatably refreshing taste.
2. St-Germain Spritz
Switch out the Aperol for some elderflower liqueur and you’ve got yourself a tasty St-Germain. Garnish this with fresh lavender for a florally infused taste.
3. Cali Spritz
Italian-style Bruto Americano is the staple in this Cali twist on the spritz. It brings some punchy bitterness and a citrus pop to the table. Ramp up the citrus taste with some tangy grapefruit juice, then add California chardonnay and soda water and you’re set. You might think it impossible to fully channel the power of the Golden State’s sun in the cocktail bars in Exeter city centre, but take a sip of this beauty and you might just think again!
4. La Quebrada Spritz
Grapefruit works as a light but interesting flavour in a spritz, so it’s sticking around for la Quebrada. This one also includes Aperol but is mixed with an ounce of crema de mescal, which lightens up this Mexican-inspired drink. It’s full of fruity, nutty and coffee aromas and an orange kick. Add grapefruit juice, sparkling wine and “Abra-Quebrada!” you’ve got yourself a spritz. If you’re feeling fancy (which we are always are), garnish with a grapefruit twist.
5. The Book Cover’s Mediterranean Rose Spritz
Of course, we left the best until last. Invented by one of the finest mixologists in the country, right here in our cocktail bar in Exeter city centre, our spritely spritz contains no less than six superb ingredients. We use Gin Mare – with its savoury tones and flavours of olive, rosemary and basil -together with essence of orange to tip our hat to the classic Aperol. Rose tincture, Amaro, orgeat syrup, orange blossom and Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic water top up the glass with sweetness and balance.
Stop dreaming of summer. It’s right here and it’s yours for the tasting. All you need is the password, and we’ll provide the spritz!
Explore our full menu of cocktails here.