Aperol Spritz · Bar Mezzana

Photo Credit: Reagan Byrne
By Eric Twardzik · 04/03/2020

As Boston’s bars and restaurants remain closed amid the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve asked some of our favorite industry figures to share classic, easy-to-make drinks you can replicate at home. In return, we hope you’ll consider supporting the industry during this trying time; for instance, by purchasing a gift card to Bar Mezzana.

The term “spritz” can refer to any drink made with sparkling wine, soda water, and a bitter liqueur, but the word itself often invokes the granddaddy of the sub-genre: the Aperol Spritz.

The bitter liqueur in this fizzy, low-ABV concoction is the orangey Italian aperitif Aperol. But according to Ryan Lotz—beverage director at Bar Mezzana, where spritzes feature prominently on the menu—building the drink is not as easy as merely combining its three ingredients.

Lotz recommends adding the sparkling wine and soda water to an ice-filled glass first, before introducing the Aperol. That way, the colorful liqueur mixes and sinks in the glass.

“This drink pretty much fires on all the right cylinders,” says Lotz. “It’s just bitter enough to keep things interesting, the bubbles keep everything fresh and lively, and the orange flavor is bright and refreshing.”

The Aperol Spritz is often garnished solely with an orange wheel, but Lotz adds a green olive as well.

While the olive is not seen too often here in the States, Lotz says, it’s traditional in Italy. “It is a nice, briny addition to counterbalance the subtly sweet Aperol,” he adds.
Aperol Spritz
3-4 ounces sparkling wine
2 ounces Aperol
1 ounce soda water
Orange wedge, for garnish
Green olive, for garnish

Add sparkling wine and soda water to a highball or wine glass filled with a generous amount of cubed or cracked ice. Add Aperol, then garnish with green olive and orange wedge.

For a step-by-step video, head to our Instagram to watch Ryan Lotz make one himself!

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