Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Book Review: Spritz By Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau


Spritz: Italy's Most Iconic Apertivo Cocktail, with Recipes is one informative and bubbly little book. Opening with a brief introduction on the history and classic bartender's definition of a classic spritz, the average reader may be surprised to find that the modern day drink has evolved considerably since it's best estimated arrival in Greek and Roman times. And that the partly bitter, partly sweet carbonated refreshment is best in the afternoon, as a low-alcohol cocktail with appetizers during the social hour. 

I knew from the very cover art of Spritz that I would fall in love with the content. The colors, the font---very classic cocktail hour, from a time and a place when consumption was classy not trashy. The photography within is bright and enticing. And the few dining suggestions in the back of the book from a simple crostini to a slightly more complicated 'Sarde In Saor' are a tempting pairing with many of the spritz recipes within, from the classics to the modern craft barroom interpretations. 

While some may think drink recipe books to be pretentious or simply reserved for people with a preexisting knowledge of bartending, the authors of Spritz make no such assumptions. It's written for  anyone with a taste for good food and drink with friends. And what is especially handy in addition to simplified versions of recipe ingredients, is a full list of what any novice needs to build a spritz bar. Because, let's face it. There's nothing worse than preparing a recipe and realizing you don't have that one key ingredient. 

So grab some friends for a few pre-dinner drinks after work, "Because who isn't better, and perhaps more oneself, with a spritz in hand?" 

And with the kind permission of TEN SPEED PRESS, you can sample these two spritz recipes for yourself. Cheers!

Venetian Spritz
GLASS rocks or wine glass • GARNISH olive and orange half-wheel

The spritz that launched a thousand spritzes, the Venetian Spritz is made with a range of bitter liqueurs, including the ubiquitous Aperol from Padua and the more locally beloved Select (thought to be the original bitter used in the Venetian Spritz). Always garnished with a skewered olive and a slice of citrus, this style of spritz is the most widely recognized classic and the standard-bearer of spritz living across Italy.

2 OUNCES BITTER LIQUEUR (SEE NOTE) 
3 TO 4 OUNCES PROSECCO 
2 OUNCES SODA WATER

Build the ingredients in a rocks or wine glass, over ice, and add the garnish. 

NOTE: Aperol is the most widely available bitter liqueur; it is also the sweetest. If you prefer a more bracingly bitter spritz, try splitting Aperol with Campari (1:1). And if you can find them, Contratto Aperitif, Contratto Bitter, Mauro Vergano Americano, and Cappelletti Aperitivo Americano are four aperitivo bitters we find ourselves returning to over and over again in this classic formula.


ROSÉ ALL DAY
GABRIEL ORTA & ELAD ZVI Broken Shaker, Miami, FL 
GLASS wine glass • GARNISH lemon half-wheel and mint sprig

The sunshine-soaked cult of rosé has finally reached fever pitch and is now making regular appearances in cocktails all over America. Here it shows up—rather appropriately—in a spritz variation at Miami Beach’s Broken Shaker, a backyard cocktail grove of palm trees and beautiful pool-goers who line up for seasonal Caipirinhas and Mojitos every day of the year. The rosé creates a background for bittersweet Cocchi Americano and sweet-and-sour papaya shrub, all bound together with a dose of prosecco.

2 OUNCES ROSÉ 
1 OUNCE COCCHI AMERICANO 
1 OUNCE PAPAYA SHRUB (SEE RECIPE)
½ OUNCE FRESH LEMON JUICE 
1 OUNCE PROSECCO

Add the rosé, Cocchi, papaya shrub, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker. Stir well and strain into a wine glass filled with ice. Top with the prosecco and add the garnish. 

PAPAYA SHRUB.  Add 5 to 8 chunks papaya, 1 cup rice wine vinegar, and 1⁄4 cup sugar to a saucepan. Simmer over very low heat for 20 minutes. Cool for at least 30 minutes. Strain, bottle, and refrigerate for up to one month.



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I have received a complimentary copy of Spritz from BloggingForBooks.com for the purposes of product review. 

Photos and recipes provided by TEN SPEED PRESS, subject to copyright. 


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2 comments:

Jessica Cangiano said...

Such an awesome concept for a cocktail book! As Tony hails from Italy, it appeals to me all the more. Thank you for the lovely review and intro to a wonderfully cool title.

xoxo ♥ Jessica

Jackie Jardine said...

With these classy cocktails and recipes, annnnnndddd the lovely vintage-inspired photography and graphics, this book has your name all over it, Jess!

<3 Jackie @ Let's Go Thrifting