The best in Venice

30 Nov
The Aperol Spritz in action (photographed by the lovely Liz) - as pretty as it is delicious!

The Aperol Spritz in action (photographed by the lovely Liz) - as pretty as it is delicious!

The first drink I served at La Bella Italia was an Aperol Spritz.  It’s a simple recipe that I first tasted at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.

Peggy Guggenheim lived in an unfinished villa on the Grand Canal and was known for her love of 20th century art.  She collected voraciously and essentially considered her support of modern artists to be her raison d’etre.  After her death, her home was converted to a museum to showcase her treasures.  The space and the art are both stunning – they are absolutely worth a visit if you are ever in Venice.  And if you do go, try to be there at noon.  At noon, the museum serves complimentary Aperol Spritzes on the terrace overlooking the canal for all who care to partake.  Definitely partake.

We were in Venice at the beginning of August.  Temperatures were in the 90s, the humidity smacks you in the face every time you step outside, and air conditioned places are few and far between.  Anytime we could drink something cold and refreshing, we did, and the Aperol Spritz certainly fit the bill.

Start with a glass filled with ice – rocks, highball, anything you want as long as it holds ice.  The ice is the important part.  Add two parts prosecco, one part Aperol** and a splash of club soda.  Finish with an orange slice.  Drink.

The Guggenheim had a sign up at their Aperol Spritz table (which they made by the punchbowl – no reason why you couldn’t do the same for a party) that said, “Aperol Spritz – the best in Venice!”  After imbibing, we agreed.

Me in Venice in front of the Grand Canal

Me in Venice in front of the Grand Canal

*As long as you are over 18 – the gentleman serving the drinks refused one girl, explaining to her that la polizia had a station nearby, and so for her, no, so sorry, but no.

**Aperol is an aperitif that is similar to Campari but less bitter and more floral.  I personally like both, but if you don’t like Campari, try Aperol as many consider it more palatable.  Locally, Aperol can be purchased at Divino and Argonaut – probably other places, too, but those are the ones I know.

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