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Did you know that the spritz was most likely named after a German word? Or perhaps that the original spritz technically isn’t an Italian creation at all? In The Gin List, we team up with Tanqueray to delve back in time to discover the origin of this summer favourite, provide you with some food pairing inspiration and give you an illustrated step-by-step recipe to guide you towards becoming a spritz connoisseur.
With the arrival of summer comes long hot days and balmy evenings, what better to pair with it than a lightly spiced, aromatic gin cocktail. The spritz is known best as a pre-dinner favourite among the Italians, beneficial for both digestion and mood, but the original version was introduced to the country by Austria during the 1800s. The spritz has come a long way since its initial form of watered down wine, and when paired with the bitter-sweet orange notes of Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla gin, the spritz becomes a fragrant blend of citrus and spice. Served as an afternoon sundowner cocktail alongside spiced chorizo and haloumi skewers, an ice-cold spritz brings a cool breeze to a hot summer’s day.
Where the spritz originated in the 1800s. It was inspired by its European predecessor, the Austrian spritzer.
The only consistent ingredients in a spritz as there’s no official recipe.
Is Italian for ‘small snacks’, and pair perfectly with an aperitivo to whet your appetite before dinner.
Must be the predominant botanical flavour in gin, even if a gin spritz has many other flavours.
Although the origin of the spritz is considered Italian, the cocktail creation came about during the Austrian Empire’s rule over Venice in the 1800s. Known for their love of beer, the Austrians living in Venice sought a lighter drink to quench the thirst brought on by Italian summer but struggled with the full-bodied wines of the region. To combat the heaviness of the wine, they often mixed it with water to create a lighter beverage. However, long before the Austrians were drinking spritzes, the Ancient Greeks were watering down their wine. The Greeks believed that only Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and grape harvest, was strong enough to consume pure, undiluted wine.
The name ‘spritz’ most likely originated from the German word spritzen (to spray). In 1919, the creation of the Aperol spritz began to pave the way for spritz recipes, which were constantly tweaked until the ideal ratio of three parts prosecco, two parts sour alcohol or bitters and one part seltzer was agreed upon. When prosecco became a fashionable drink in the 1970s, the spritz shot to fame and has held its place as one of summer’s most popular drinks since.
All the zest, spice and pro tips you need to make the perfect sundowner cocktail for summer.
45ml Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla Gin
60ml soda water
Vessel: wine glass
Garnish: orange wedge
Makes two standard drinks.
See the full recipe below and grab a bottle of Tanqueray London Dry Gin for your home this summer here.
Settle in for a golden afternoon and pair the gin spritz with a spicy, rich chorizo and haloumi skewers. The light kick from the chorizo and savoury haloumi highlight the citrusy bittersweet notes of the Seville orange found in the Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla gin.