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The Story of Aperol Spritz, From Italian Workers to Hipster Bars

by Jack Guy

Sep 28, 2019

© Oxana Denezhkina | Dreamstime

Trends / Food & Drink

Until recently, Aperol Spritz was a particularly Italian drink that didn’t get much airtime outside of its homeland.

 

Then it became hugely popular in many countries, appearing on menus from bottomless brunches in London to trendy cocktail bars in Paris. It’s all a far cry from the workers’ bars of northern Italy where Aperol, the aperitif that gives its name to the spritz, originated.

 

A similar drink has been around since 1805, when the Austro-Hungarian empire took over the Veneto region in northern Italy. They would take local wine and add a dash of water, known as a “spritz” in German.

 

Over time this morphed into fizzy water as a mixer, then wine fortified with liqueur became a new twist. In 1919, the Aperol brand was born, marketing a semi-sweet liqueur throughout Italy. By the 1950s the company had come up with the Aperol Spritz, a mixture of prosecco, Aperol and soda water.

 

It sold fairly well, but things kicked off in the 2000s when Grupo Campari acquired the Aperol brand and used its huge distribution network to take the drink to a wider audience than ever before. Now you can get ahold of an Aperol Spritz all over the world, and there is even pre-mixed Spritz sold in cans in some markets.

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