With spring in full swing and summer on its way, I decided to take a slight detour from our usual fare and review a book about Aperitivo cocktails. Not only was it fun, it was excellent research for our Friday Drinks with Reads feature.
The book is called Spritz from Ten Speed Press, part history, part cookbook authors Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau take readers on the wonderful journey of summer cocktails.
I first heard about Spritz type cocktails when my mother and her friends were making white wine spritzers when I was young. When I became old enough to drink, my social set gradually moved away from these types of drinks towards fine wine. But this book brings back everything that is good about these drinks - the fresh ingredients, the light effervescent feel, and the crisp taste.
The book starts out grounding the cocktails in Italian history,
"The Italian work sprezzatura doesn't have an English translation. Coining in the early sixteenth century by Rennaissance author Baldassare Castiglione in his Book of the Courtier (1528), sprezzatura implied the sort of effortless grace that royal attendants of that gilded era embodied."
Of course, this makes me want to go read the Book of the Courtier to see what else I am missing. If history isn't your thing, there is still plenty to enjoy here. The authors give you a knowledge base with sections like Aperitivi 101 and Prosecco 101, so you can build your own Spritz drinks - with or without alcohol. There are also recipes that you can follow exactly on your less creative days, for the perfect summer drink that will make you and your guests think you're sitting in the beautiful Italian sun.
After the drinks, there are also many recipes for snacks that make the perfect accompaniments for these drinks - like hand cut potato chips, crostini and shrimp skewers.
This is a delightful book that will provide you fun and refreshment all summer long.
This book was provided to Mystery Playground from the publisher. The review is fair and independent.