the appetizer:

Wine Cocktails: 50 Stylish Sippers That Show Off Your Reds, Whites, and Rosés by A.J. Rathbun, includes cocktail recipes like Blue Wave; Cactus Berry; and Venetian Spritz.



Venetian Spritz

Serves 2

Venetian Spritz


When Italian poet Cesare Pavese wrote, "Sei la luce e il mattino," he wasn't talking about the lovely combination of Prosecco with one of the many various and wondrous Italian liqueurs. But doesn't "you are light and morning" seem to encompass this delicate and light and refreshing blending, a blending that seems to have so many different ways of delighting, much like the sun coming up on a day spent in the center of Italy? I would certainly say so. And I think you'll agree after you taste this classic Italian aperitivo.

  • 3 or 4 ice cubes
  • 3 ounces Aperol
  • About 6 ounces chilled Prosecco
  • 2 orange twists for garnish
  • 2 green olives for garnish (not the pimiento-stuffed kind)

1. Put 1 or 2 ice cubes in each of 2 flute glasses. Add 1-1/2 ounces Aperol to each glass.

2. Fill each glass almost to the rim with the Prosecco and stir gently. Garnish with an orange twist and olive.

A Variation: There are as many variations to this bella theme as there are Italian liqueurs and garnishes. For example, my wife suggests a lemon twist, and many like to add a few ounces of sparkling water before the Prosecco. The latter is anathema to me, the former I think a good idea. Instead of Aperol, try Campari, Cynar, the artichoke liqueur (use a lemon twist for sure here), or Strega (my favorite Italian liqueur) without any garnish. Or, to reach heights to sing about, try limoncello, the sun god of Italian liqueurs, with a lemon twist only.

A Note: Moscato d' Asti or Asti Spumante both work well here, too. Both are made in the Piedmont region of Italy, near the town of Asti, and are slightly sweet.

  • from:
    Wine Cocktails:
    50 Stylish Sippers That Show Off Your Reds, Whites, and Rosés
  • by A.J. Rathbun
  • Harvard Common Press 2009
  • Hardcover; $12.95
  • ISBN-10: 1558324070
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-55832-407-7
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

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