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DrinkUp's Library: Spritz

A look into Italy’s most iconic aperitivo cocktail by Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau.

Spritzes have without doubt become the drink of summer, and for those eternal optimists, spring as well. But why? The authors of newly-launched Spritz have perfectly hit the nail on the head as to why we all love it. “It’s this I-woke-up-like-this mix of beauty and ease that perhaps best describe the drink,” Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau write. And it’s true, the spritz has an air of ease about it that makes it a perfect summer tipple. It may be refreshing but it’s also uncomplicated, a style which pairs perfectly with sunshine and sandy feet.

The reason why this book should be a homebar staple though is that there’s no where more enjoyable to drink a spritz than on your balcony in the summer, better still in the gardens and parks that surround London. It’s a style made for outdoor drinking, and that means you’ll need to have a few recipes up your sleeve.

Having toured Italy to understand the art of apertivo hour and the different styles of drinks across Turin, Milan, Brescia, Padua, Trento, Venice and Trieste, the first part of the book is dedicated to that most enviable and rather epic bar crawl. Baiocchi and Pariseau perfectly capture the crowds that swell in bars and main squares after work, the mouthwatering snacks accompanying the drinkd, and of course the beauty of the liquid itself.

Beyond that it’s boundless recipes from classic, well-loved drinks such as the oft-ordered Negroni Sbagliato to modern-day cocktails which still embody the apertivo style and further yet to the spritz’s cousins which call in “a wider variety of ingredients and techniques yet still embody that same bubbly, btter, easy-going spirit.”

It’s within the cocktail recipes that the authors’ talent for liquid description makes each one sound better and more impossibly tasty than the last. None of these drinks seem hard to assemble either.

In keeping with the true theme of apertivo hour the book also contains a few simple food recipes, for as they say “without food there would be no apertivo hour in the modern sense. There would be no name for the crescent of space that has been carved out between the end of the workday and the dinner hour. There would be no cresent of space. And there would be no spritz.”

Better get cooking then…