I wrote about the spritz on my blog several years before le Spritz took over the tables of seemingly every café in France, but I still can’t say that I saw it coming. I had taken a trip to Trieste, Italy, near Venice, to learn how to make espresso. In the evening, while doing my best to unwind after a day of drinking a few dozen shots of very strong coffee, I noticed that everyone was sipping from large goblets filled with orange liquid. In my mixed Italian, I asked for “one of those orange drinks, per favore,” and after my first taste, I was immediately taken with the spritz, too.
I still drink them, although now I reach for a red French bitter, such as Dolin, to provide the bitterness. Dolin is less aggressive than some of the Italian red bitter apéritifs, whose intensity can mask any subtle botanical flavors. I’ve also become smitten with Bruto Americano, made by St. George Spirits in California, which is naturally colored and keeps the flavors of the roots and spices in the forefront.
- Mix the tangerine juice and red bitter apéritif in a stemmed goblet. Fill the glass three-quarters full of ice, then pour in the prosecco. Stir briefly, then garnish with the orange wheel half.
Reprinted with permission from Drinking French: The Iconic Cocktails, Aperitifs, and Café Traditions of France, with 160 recipes by David Lebovitz © 2020. Photographs © 2020 by Ed Anderson. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.