Although this drink might be trending on Instagram – you might want to steer clear of it for your own good.
Let me set the scene for you:
It’s hot, and you are sweating through your clothes. You know that a lemonade won’t do. So, you need a cold drink. But it’s also too early for a strong, stiff glass of whiskey.
In other words, it’s the perfect time for an Aperol Spritz, except that the drink itself is far from perfect.
After a powerful campaign in 2017, the spritz, a drink Italy has refined to perfection over some decades, has become a sensational hit in the US. Campari America, the guys behind the Aperol version of this beverage, did plenty to make this campaign a success.
To their credit, the drink looks quite amazing. Its orange hue is positively enchanting, and its effervescence and perfect icing will make your mouth water.
It’s also an aperitive or apertivo. That’s a drink with a somewhat bitter taste, packaged in a fitting bottle.
But the sugary drink is served in big wine glasses as part of soda water, low-grade prosecco, and an orange slice. The result is a drink akin to the Capri Sun you would gulp down after a sweaty soccer practice session. But there lies the problem.
And it’s not just me who has an issue. To begin with, the drink has a syrupy finish.
Katie Parla wishes the drink was a little more bitter. According to her, the drink is not as layered as what other competitors offer.
The list of problems that come with this drink, unfortunately, do not end there. Apparently, it has too much low-grade quality sweet prosecco wine. Additionally, if you don’t take it immediately, it will melt, and what you get is a contortion that hardly fits the word “spritz.”
Here’s what a spritz should be like: it should have two parts bubbly, two parts bitter, and one part soda. Then throw in the orange slice.
The name spritz has a plausible origin. Austrian soldiers in northern Italy, not having a taste for the local wine, decided to dilute it with a spritz, which is German for a “spray,” but in this case, of still water.
Significant changes would follow later when soda water would replace the still water. Bitter wine or spirit-based aperitifs were changed into wine in the 1920s and 1930s, and prosecco became a choice ingredient in the 90s.
Unfortunately, rather than tasting like a good opener for the evening ahead, it tastes more like a cheap vitamin drink for kids.
The drink needs more bubbly wine. A cheap substitute will never do. According to Natasha David, who owns the Nitecap bar in New York, people can tell when you mix cheap wine into a drink.
Just because the wine is mixed into the drink, it does not mean people will be none the wiser about the shortcuts. Instead, their experienced and sensitive palates can tell that you used substandard ingredients. So, how you mix the ingredients really does matter.
Aperol Spritz, with its low-quality and low-quantity prosecco wine, certainly falls short. They should use high-quality prosecco and use more of it than they have in this drink.
The bottle needs some work as well. It should suggest that the content is best served chilled or on ice. And finally, a spritz should not be this sweet either.