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Campari Spritz and Aperol Spritz cocktails are the ultimate refresher on a hot day and we have Italians to thank for them! They're bright and sweet and bubbly and the right amount of bitter. You can make a spritz cocktail with Campari or Aperol liqueur (the Aperol version is sweeter and slightly less tart).
You may have joined Keith and I virtually as we blogged about our trip to Italy. (Or read the Italy travel guide that we wrote.) It was 9 weeks, 65 days to be exact, and we brought home a heart full of memories - of people, of places, of food, of wine.
The wine, of course, was a highlight of the trip. But the Campari Spritz was an unexpected discovery - one that we enjoyed often and one that will always remind me of Italy.
We arrived in Italy at the end of September with our suitcases full of clothes for autumn: sweaters, pants, light jackets. Things that we would not touch for the first 6 weeks of our trip because the cool weather decided not to come. Nearly every day, we would sit at a little cafe outside or tuck into a bar to enjoy a small sandwich and a spritz. After the morning's myriad of marvels and miles of footsteps, it was utter bliss.
We began our trip in Treviso, in the Veneto region of Italy - famous for its production of the sparkling wine, prosecco, a major component of the spritz.
In Italy this is considered an aperitif or aperitivo - a refreshing, before dinner cocktail. It's a simple mixture of either Campari or Aperol (Campari is less sweet and more bitter than Aperol, which we prefer), club soda water, prosecco, ice cubes and an orange slice. As for amounts, I like what wikipedia has to say:
The Spritz's recipe is shrouded in mystery, or perhaps never existed. There isn't a unique composition for a spritz because it changes in every city or small town where the bartenders freely interpret the doses and the entire preparation.
More Must-Try Cocktail Recipes
So I'll share the recipe of how we make it, but encourage you to adjust the amounts to make it your own. And if you're looking for more cocktail inspiration, I recommend these: the Last Word Cocktail, French 75 Cocktail, the Boulevardier Cocktail, this Peach Bellini Recipe (made famous in Venice!), and, if you want to skip the alcohol, this Non-Alcoholic Sangria is excellent!
Read more about our days in Treviso
- 3 ounces Prosecco
- 2 ounces Campari or Aperol
- 1 ounce club soda
- 1 slice orange
- Fill a tumbler with ice cubes. Add Prosecco then Campari or Aperol and club soda; stir. Serve garnished with an orange slice.
Stella DeAngelis Paul says
I love any drink using Prosecco. Thanks for two I will definitely try over Thanksgiving holiday!
Marissa Stevens says
Hope you'll love it, Stella!
Anyone who finds Compari too bitter, try adding a splash of St. Germaine. Bartender's Ketchup fixes most everything.
I used a little less Campari and garnished with blood orange. I feel like I’m in Italy with every sip!
Marissa Stevens says
So glad you enjoyed this, Susan! 🙂
Jenifer Harr says
I made this campari spritz recipe for a party. It was horrible. Way too much campari. The only way it was even tolerable was to add more prosecco. Do NOT recommend.
Marissa Stevens says
Hi, Jenifer. I'm sorry you were disappointed with this one. The interesting thing is that I call for a lower ratio of Campari to Prosecco/club soda than many of the spritz recipes you'll find digitally and in print (I like Prosecco-forward spritz cocktails). You may prefer Aperol, reminiscent of Campari, but less bitter and with lower alcohol.
I’m loving the colour of this drink. I can definitely see this one becoming a summertime favourite!
Thanks so much, Bee!
Craig Mische says
So fun forme to discover your site and post. I just returned from a month in Italy and after watching spritz after spritz be ordered, I finally decided to order one towards the end of this visit while in Bellagio. Loved it and regret not opening up to them earlier! I had a great trip and did a lot but your trip has me plotting a return.
Came across your blog looking for spicy deviled eggs. Glad I did, because I can't wait to try many of your recipes and read about your stories. We currently live in Italy, north of Venice. Will be here for a few years...looking forward to seeing all these beautiful places as well. Been to Venice. Wonderful. What was your favorite destination??
That's so sweet, Lisa! I honestly don't think I have a favorite destination in Italy. If we did the trip again, I'd still want to go everywhere!! We absolutely loved the Venice Biennale - the enormous art exhibition that happens every two years. It was a highlight of our trip!
love the color!
This looks fantastic and your story reminded me of my mom and how when she went to England and came back loving Pimms Cup.
You want to know something ridiculous? I'm a gin lover and have never even tried Pimms Cup!
This drink looks very refreshing and I should try it around the holidays! I kind of thought there is no exact Spritz recipe and you just confirmed that 🙂
Thanks, Mira. I never measure it, to be honest - but it always tastes good!
Judit + Corina @ Glamorous Bite says
Your cocktail just took us back to Italy in our minds! September is a lovely time to go, but this year has been quite hot.
It was so hot when we were there too! But lovely all the same. 🙂
Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen says
I am loving the color of this Marissa! It looks like it tastes amazing! I love your pictures too! So pretty! xoxo
That's so sweet Kristi! Thank you.
Italians really love their campari! This sounds like such a refreshing drink. Definitely a fun inclusion in holiday beverages!
So true! Thanks, Joanne...
Nagi Maehashi says
This is a great cocktail using prosecco! I'm actually not a fan of it - not even the expensive stuff - too sweet for me. But mixed up it's a great cocktail ingredient because of the sweetness. This is defiantly making an appearance at my Christmas party!
aww, thanks Nagi!
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
Definitely a delicious cocktail I need to make in the upcoming Christmas period!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Ahhh aperitivo hour! We enjoyed that recently-such a nice way to live! I'm off to read your guide on Italy, one of my favourite destinations ever 😀
That's saying a lot, Lorraine, you've been everywhere!! 🙂 Thank you!
You and your husband wrote an Italy travel guide!! so cool!!! If I ever go, I'm buying it!! I so want to go one of these days! love love love drinks like this! so fun and refreshing!
aww, thanks Alice!
Yum! This looks absolutely refreshing and satisfying!
It really is, Carla. And so easy to make!
Colo aka Tom says
I was an avid follower of the 65 Days in Italy blog, I can truly say Marissa you and Keith brought that country alive. Your stories, pictures, and daily adventures made one feel they were with you the whole trip.
Keep cooking and blogging, but I think it is time for another 65 day adventure... Spain, Portugal, maybe Greece.
Colo (Tom) - we so enjoyed interacting with you during the trip. You truly made the trip more fun and you gave us some great tips along the way!