Here I am; I have arrived unscathed at the end of yet another hectic day. It is hard to be Gunilla…
I decide to indulge myself with a drink in Piazza della Frutta in Padova. I sit at the table al fresco, I place my faithful – and of course super-chic – “AM-PM” bag on a chair and then I order my Spritz, of course. We’re in Padua!
My dearest, for those of you who do not know it, Spritz is a wondrous ever-fashionable orange colour cocktail which is also light and cool, an all-season drink that puts you at peace with life.
A true solace for the body and spirit!
Short history of the paduan cocktail.
Well, let me tell you the story of this cocktail that is becoming world-famous and is now in the drink list of trendy hotspots.
Our beloved Spritz is rightly connected to the city of Padua, which is the true birthplace of Spritz. Do you know why? I will tell you right away.
The ancestor of spritz
The “ancestor” of Spritz seems to have been, some 500 years back, a mix of water and wine that was served in the afternoon to arsenalotti, the workers at Venice Arsenal, the shipyards of the Republic of Venice, who were held in very high esteem and respect.
The tradition of mixing water with wine remained solid in time, until the period of the Hapsburg domination on the Venetian territories when the drink was named Spritz. Austrians living in Venetian territories, who were not used to local wines as they were more alcoholic than theirs, used to ask innkeepers to spray (in German: spritzen) some water into their wine.
The birth of modern spritz
The evolution of Spritz into the drink we know today took place in the first years of the 20th century. Someone had the idea of adding a shot of bitter drink to the mix of wine and water and, at the same time, in Padua Aperol was born. This is the origin of the two Spritz versions that are known on Venetian land today: Spritz with bitter and Spritz with Aperol. Spritz with bitter is more popular in Venice, whereas Spritz with Aperol is more popular in Padua.
Spritz becomes world famous
Spritz has become so widespread in the entire world that in 2011 it was listed among IBA’s cocktails under the name “Spritz veneziano” (which means Venetian Spritz).
The reason why it was named “Venetian” escapes me, considering that it contains Aperol and, therefore, it is the Paduan version; at any rate, being there is what matters, isn’t it?
Here is the recipe of Spritz.
6 cl Prosecco
4 cl Aperol
Splash of soda water
Build into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Top with a splash of soda water. Garnish with half orange slice.
Where to drink spritz in Padua
Well, now that you know the story and that I have urged you to taste it, I am sure that you want to know where to drink Spritz in Padua.
That’s not complicated: everywhere.
A bar not serving Spritz is simply not a bar…
Yet, my dearest, if you wish to soak in the genuine Padua atmosphere and want to be among those who sip it on the main square, I recommend you go to:
- Bar Nazionale in Piazza delle Erbe
- Bar dei Osei in Piazza dei Frutti
Oh, my friend is here! I move my bag so that she can sit and then we will have another Spritz.
It’s a hard life…