Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The 3 second rule

The spritz is perhaps the perfect drink. On a hot day, the first half of a beer can seem like the best thing in the world. The second half of the same beer, however, can seem stale and warm (this is a general rule, obviously, and doesn't apply to those "didn't even touch the sides" moments). A prosecco is fine, but not a drink that can really be lingered over. But uno spritz al Campari is is bitter and refreshing to the last drop. And for me, it has to be with Campari. I find Aperol too sweet and akin to alcoholic Irn-Bru. I like Cynar as much as I like most artichoke-based drinks. The slightly medicinal Select, said by some to be the most authentic, is today mainly the preserve of old men; and whilst 2014 may have been the year in which I finally embraced the cardigan, I don't think there's need to hurry things along any more than necessary.

I observed the swiftest of spritz-making masterclasses the other day, in the bar at the foot of the Accademia Bridge, where the ancient knowledge was being passed on to a young apprentice. I admired its almost Zen-like simplicity :-

Put ice cubes in glass
Apply three second burst from white wine tap
Hold bottle of Campari upside down. Keep it there for three seconds
Fill up remaining space with three seconds worth of sparkling water
Plop slice of lemon in

The three second rule seemed almost perfect so I gave it a go at home. Sadly, it doesn't really work without proper bar equipment to control the flow. Or maybe I just needed a bigger glass. Nevertheless, whenever I see one being made in the future, I shall look for the count of three as a sign of quality control.


  1. If you held the bottle of Campari (or in my case Aperol) upside down without the pouring thingy in it that would be *exciting* - or else you'd need a huge glass!

    I'm a 'make it by colour' mixer. Not at all scientific, and not always very successful - but that's as scientific as I'm bothered to be.

    A good spritz is a glorious thing and a very good reason to have a second, and a so-so one is just an excuse to try another somewhere else!

  2. The absolute best ones were the ones in the bar on the Crosera (I can never remember its name). Something was just right in that place. I wonder if I'll find a decent spritz in Florence?


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.