Don’t get it twisted: A spritz is not the 1980s blush-wine summer spritzer that might immediately come to mind. As Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau write in their new book, Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, “The modern spritz has its roots in Hapsburg-occupied northern Italy in the 19th century, when Austrian soldiers introduced the practice of adding a spritz (spray) of water to the region’s wines in an effort to make them more pleasing to their riesling-weaned palates.” And as the recipes in the book show, American craft bartenders from coast to coast have taken the drink and turned it into a more avant-garde concoction, mixing in tonic, shrubs or sherry. Contemporary spritzes usually comprise three parts prosecco, two parts bitter liqueur and one part soda, and while that means they may have a rosy tint, it also means they’re slightly bitter, pleasantly low in alcohol and refreshingly drinkable, no matter the weather. Besides, real men drink pink.
Kenaniah Bystrom of Essex in Seattle created this spritz. Its salty complexity matches well with the sweet citrus of Aperol and the bitter tinge of Amaro Nardini.
• 1 oz. Amaro Nardini
• ¼ oz. Aperol
• ¼ oz. fresh lemon juice
• ¼ oz. Castelvetrano olive brine
• 2½ oz. Prosecco
• 2 Castelvetrano olives
Pour Amaro Nardini, Aperol, lemon juice and olive brine into cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Top with prosecco and garnish with olives.