The Meteoric Rise of the Spritz – Discover Europe’s Best Aperitivo Spots!

It was the word on everyone’s lips last summer, and the drink in everyone’s hands, but it seems that the Pornstar Martini trend may just be over, with a new icon emerging – the Spritz.

Online searches for the infamous cocktail have been dwindling and, as temperatures surged earlier in the year, a light and refreshing cocktail emerged, taking inspiration from the long-held tradition of Mediterranean aperitivo.

Spritz cocktails have been coming to the forefront since Aperol burst back into public consciousness a few years ago, and since then it’s been the drink to post across Instagram feeds.

Celebrated for its refreshing taste, bright colour and low alcohol content, it’s now commonly seen as the must-have drink when socialising.


What is a spritz and the history behind it

A spritz is a drink consisting of sparkling wine, such as prosecco, mixed with a bitter-tasting liqueur or spirit and topped with sparkling water.

The spritz is thought to have originated in Italy in the 1800s, when Austrian soldiers and visitors from surrounding countries diluted wine with a splash of water, after finding the Italian wine a little too strong for their tastes.

Today, the very ritual of enjoying a spritz comes from the long-held tradition of the Mediterranean Aperitivo.

An aperitivo is a pre-meal drink and the experience of aperitivo is a cultural ritual. The word itself is derived from the Latin aperire, which means ‘to open’, with the custom meant to ‘open the stomach’ before dinner, particularly as bitter flavours are said to stimulate the appetite.

For centuries, this practice has been commonplace in Italy with people coming together over drinks and appetisers in the early evening, after work, and born from a desire to separate their working day from their free time, and it seems more and more countries are now adopting their own version of the ritual.


Why is the spritz so popular?

The UK Bartenders Guild (UKBG) is one of the leading professional associations for the bar and hospitality sector.

President of the UK Bartenders Guild, Claudia Carrozzi, explained why this European practice has now been adopted by bartenders and venues across the UK, and beyond.

She said: “The end-of-the-day ritual of meeting up with friends and enjoying an aperitivo has long been favoured across the Mediterranean.

An age-old tradition that has seen younger consumers firmly take hold of the trend due to its accessibility; it’s a low-alcohol, light refreshment enjoyed over light snacks, good company… and most importantly, plenty of sunshine!

We’re seeing the ritual of the aperitivo grow in popularity each year, not least because consumers now are drinking less, but drinking better.

The spritz is a hugely versatile drink that can be made lighter, in both calories and alcohol content, and we’re seeing bartenders play around with exciting and unique flavour variations, and styles, all of which work to create highly Instagrammable spritz cocktails… perfect for truly showcasing Mediterranean culture and la dolce vita!”

Online searches for spritz are on the rise 

With younger consumers seemingly on board with the ritual of aperitivo – and the spritz – there’s also been a huge increase in the number of online searches looking for cocktail and recipe inspiration.

In fact, online searches for spritz-based cocktails have been steadily on the rise – with the likes of ‘Aperol Spritz’ and ‘Limoncello Spritz’ being most popular.

Richard Glover from Molinari Italia S.p.A, owners of Limoncello di Capri, said: “We have seen a huge change in consumer behaviour since lockdown with drinkers wanting to know more about how to make the perfect cocktail at home and to understand more about their favourite drinks.”

“The days of Limoncello being enjoyed as a digestif alone, are far gone. We have developed a number of signature serves; mixed simply as a spritz with prosecco or with tonic water, provides a refreshingly fruity drink that’s as delicious at Christmas, as it is in summer.


Limoncello spritz recipe 

For those looking to recreate their very own aperitivo moment at home, Richard outlines Molinari’s suggested serve for creating the ultimate Limoncello Spritz.



  • 75 ml Prosecco
  • 50 ml Limoncello Di Capri
  • 25 ml Soda
  • Sprig of mint
  • Lemon twist



  • In a stemmed glass filled with ice, pour 75 ml of Prosecco.
  • Next, add 50 ml of Limoncello Di Capri.
  • Add 25 ml of soda water.
  • Garnish with a sprig of mint and a lemon twist.
  • Gently stir, allowing the flavours to mingle.
  • Finally, simply serve up and enjoy the essence of La Dolce Vita!


The top spots in Europe for a spritz 


For those looking to make the most of the last drops of summer sun, Claudia outlines some of the most Instagrammable locations across Europe to enjoy a spritz…

Jordaan District, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 

The postcard perfect canals and streets of trendy Jordaan are flanked by indie boutiques, cosy pubs and hip eateries, a perfect spot to enjoy your aperitivo ritual – and ideal for an Instagram snap (or two).

Trastevere, Rome, Italy 

A charming and picturesque district in Rome known for its narrow streets, cobblestone alleys, lively nightlife and authentic traditional charm. Drinking and dining opportunities are aplenty and many bars and cafes offer aperitivo specials, perfect for the early evening hours.

Old Town Square, Prague, Czech Republic

With its ancient buildings and magnificent churches, this is one of the most beautiful historical sights in Europe. Crowned as one of Eastern Europe’s most popular destinations, the colourful buildings of the Old Town Square make the perfect setting to enjoy the cultural ritual of aperitivo.

Le Marais, Paris, France

Le Marais is one of the most popular quartiers of Paris. And it’s not hard to see why – it’s full of old-world charm, narrow cobblestone streets, hidden courtyards & gardens, and a multitude of grand and historic mansions. This historic district in the ‘City of Love’ is full of trendy cafes and bars where you can enjoy a pre-dinner drink and experience the innate Parisian sense of style.