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Spritz Life, Unlocked                

Oct 21, 2021Story: MARTINI & ROSSI® Art: Lizzie Munro

L’Aperitivo: What was once a tradition shared by Italians each evening has evolved into a global symbol of leisure, heralded by the pop of a cork and the froth of Prosecco in cities from London to Miami to Los Angeles. Across the world, aperitivo hour has come to be recognized as the marker of Italian cocktail culture reclaimed, even while it has adopted new looks as it has spread from the piazza to the pool, the beach, the front stoop and beyond.

The engine behind the aperitivo’s rise to juggernaut status, without doubt, is the inimitable Italian Spritz, for which the recipe couldn’t be simpler: red Italian bitter liqueur topped with sparkling wine, garnished with an orange slice. Equal parts bitter, sweet and refreshing, it’s the drink that has become the patron saint for a generation of aperitivo drinkers—and one that’s ripe for riffing from bartenders professional and amateur who are eager to play in the burgeoning aperitivo space. Swap out the Prosecco for off-dry MARTINI & ROSSI Rosé Italian sparkling wine to achieve a pink-hued Piedmontese spritz, or try the cool, fresh Asti for an aromatic moment. Change the liqueur to elderflower, the garnish to fanciful (raspberries, herbs, cucumber slices, lime wheels and more), top with Prosecco and call it a French Spritz.

Not far behind the Italian Spritz’s rank in aperitivo royalty is the Negroni Sbagliato, that more-refreshing variation on the red bitter and sweet vermouth classic wherein gin is swapped out for Prosecco, resulting in a low-proof, sparkling take (whose moniker may mean “mistaken,” but is truly anything but). Switch the Prosecco for either Asti or Spumante rosé, garnish with an array of citrus slices or add a splash of grapefruit to yield unexpected layers of flavor and a drink to suit any evening mood. Then, there’s the new-look MARTINI & ROSSI® FIERO 50/50 COCKTAIL: This modern take on the Spritz features a wine-based red bitter and derives its bubbles from tonic, all in a simple 50/50 serve that is the definition of “aperitivo press and play.”

The Spritz has become the patron saint for a generation of aperitivo drinkers—and one that’s ripe for riffing.

Whether reaching for a classic or experimenting with a new take, the key to the aperitivo feeling lies in bringing together bubbles, bitter and a readiness to slow down. Below, four recipes to help you do just that.

MARTINI & ROSSI Italian Spritz

The cornerstone of the aperitivo canon, the Italian Spritz is everything the occasion calls for: bittersweet, bubbly and effortless. The combination of sunset-red MARTINI & ROSSI Bitter Liqueur swirled together with MARTINI & ROSSI Asti Italian sparkling wine, garnished with an orange slice, sets the mood for any proper aperitivo hour.

1 ounce MARTINI & ROSSI Bitter Liqueur
3 ounces MARTINI & ROSSI Asti Italian Sparkling Wine

Garnish: orange slice

Combine all the ingredients in a wine glass with ice.
Stir to integrate.
Garnish with an orange slice.

MARTINI & ROSSI French Spritz

Make a couple of tweaks to “aperitivo,” and you get its French cousin, “aperitif”; likewise, you can swap a few ingredients in the Italian Spritz blueprint and make its continental kin. To MARTINI & ROSSI Bitter Liqueur and Prosecco, add a dose of GREY GOOSE vodka and a splash of soda water. And voilà: the French Spritz. The higher proof is balanced by Prosecco’s dry sparkle and, garnished with aromatic raspberries, is an elegant way to go from afternoon to evening.

1 ounce MARTINI & ROSSI Bitter Liqueur
2 ounces MARTINI & ROSSI Prosecco or Rosé Italian Sparkling Wine
1 ounce GREY GOOSE Vodka
2 ounces soda water

Garnish: skewered raspberries

Combine all the ingredients in a wine glass with ice.
Stir gently to integrate.
Garnish with raspberries.

MARTINI & ROSSI Negroni Sbagliato

Dubbed the “mistaken” Negroni for its use of Prosecco rather than the original’s call for gin, the Sbagliato has become a classic Italian cocktail in its own right. MARTINI & ROSSI Rubino Vermouth mingles with MARTINI & ROSSI Bitter Liqueur to create a bittersweet backbone; the combination is then topped with Prosecco to lighten and lengthen. For a pinker-hued version, swap the Prosecco for sparkling rosé.

1 ounce MARTINI & ROSSI Riserva Speciale Rubino Vermouth
1 ounce MARTINI & ROSSI Bitter Liqueur
1 ounce MARTINI & ROSSI Prosecco or Rosé Italian Sparkling Wine

Combine all the ingredients in a rocks glass.
Stir gently to integrate.


This red bitter-vermouth hybrid offers a new take on the Spritz in the form of this couldn’t-be-easier 50/50 serve. The cocktail doubles down on the bitter by using tonic water, while the sweet orange notes in the MARTINI & ROSSI®Fiero can be amplified by the citrus garnish of your choosing.

2 ounces MARTINI & ROSSI Fiero Vermouth
2 ounces tonic water


Combine Fiero and tonic in a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon, grapefruit or orange wheel.


Celebrate Negroni Month with our Classic Negroni kit