Spritz is one of my favourite cocktails, especially when sipped with my friends on a terrace or in the garden. "Al fresco", as Americans call it, even if the expression is not used with the same meaning in Italian - we use "all'aria aperta", literally "in the open air" (moreover, one of the meanings of al fresco is "in jail"!). It's a fantastic drink, ideal with savory nibbles on warm evenings like the ones we're having here in Holland lately. Summer in May. Hopefully not ALL the summer we're going to get this year. ;)
One of my friends, Italian architect and artist Claudio Varone, makes not only beautiful wall tapestries with colourful felt but also the best spritz ever. He uses Campari to give the spritz its bright, shiny colour and the typical, slightly bitter taste, but in some areas of Veneto (the Italian region where spritz comes from) this cocktail can be made with Aperol (a bit too sweet for my personal taste) or with the very bitter Cynar, made with artichokes.
Yesterday evening we enjoyed Claudio's spritz and I finally managed to "steal" (grazie Claudio!) its recipe after so much time that I wanted to publish it on this blog.
Because Claudio prepares spritz directly in the glasses and not in a big carafe, the listed ingredients are enough for one person.
If you don't have any Prosecco, use dry white wine and a bit of mineral water with gas for the necessary bubbles.
a dash of gin
mineral water with gas
1 slice of orange
1 fresh mint leave
some ice cubes
Mix Campari, Prosecco and a dash of gin. Add some mineral water if you want a lighter spritz and a couple of ice cubes.
Garnish with a slice of orange, one whole strawberry and a mint leaf.