This is how the Spritz is prepared, the Italian fashion cocktail

With its attractive orange color and its amazing glass, the Spritz quickly became the fashion cocktail, the fruit of a strategy cleverly orchestrated by the Italian group Campari, who succeeded in transforming a local tradition into a worldwide phenomenon.

How to prepare a Spritz? Half a glass full of ice cubes, 6 centimeters prosecco, 4 cl Aperol or Campari, all sprinkled with a dash of (2cl) soft drink or carbonated mineral water and finally topped with a slice of orange.

The tradition of this drink goes back to the Austrian occupation in northeastern Italy in the 19th century.

It is said that soldiers used to throw wine or water with soft drinks if it was not good or very hot. When he was born in the city of Padua with the name Aperol in 1919, the wine was replaced by that light drink, composed of bitter oranges, gentian and rhubarb.

Almost a century later, when the Aperol was little known beyond the borders of Northeast Italy, the Campari group launched it again in 2003, but without imagining its potential.

"When we bought the brand, it sold 4,000 liters in three cities in north-eastern Italy: Venice, Padua and Treviso, where every resident drank an average of five Spritz per day", says Campari director Bob Kunze-Concewitz.

"We noticed that it recorded strong growth and we did not want it to end up in the hands of the competition – it was more of a defensive strategy," he admits.

"But by knowing the brand, we realized its potential and, thanks to Italy, created our laboratory, a very accurate development model," he adds.

The group He went "in a neighborhood of a city, where he had the cooperation of one, two, three measures, and offered the waiters intensive training" and events to try the Spritz.

"Oil slick strategy"

Little by little it spread through the district and then moved to the city and the region, according to an "oil slick strategy", explains Kunze-Concewitz.

"The success did not happen by chance, nor from one day to the next, it has deep roots, the result of a real strategy", confesses the manager of Campari.

The next step was to enter the large distribution sector and impose it as an aperitif for all seasons, for example to the ski areas.

Social networks and the effect of fashion were responsible for bringing the cocktail to the top. The # Spritz label has more than one million messages on Instagram.

The result was impressive: Aperol, currently the group's main brand, (13% of sales) had a growth of 19.5% the year last, with increases of 27% in France, 40% in Spain and 51% in the United States, and 100% in new markets such as Russia, Mexico and Brazil.

In the first half of 2018, sales increased by 24.7%.

At the stock exchange, the shares of Campari followed the trend: stagnating under the euro at the time of the acquisition of Aperol, in 2015 the internationalization of the Spritz's success started to rise above seven euros.


The phenomenon is now widely international, as confirmed by several French waiters.

What is it that conquers customers?

"The big cup, the orange color, is clear, it is fresh …" summarizes Gabriel Suzanne, barman at the bar Moncoeur Belleville in Paris, as one of the most visited terraces.

"It is perfect for an aperitif time", says Michaël Zenou, waiter of the Sax, in Hyères (South), who, like the rest, speaks of a "fashionable effect"

The Spritz is fairly profitable: both in Italy as in Paris usually has the same price as a Mojito, which instead is more expensive to prepare with its rum, mint and lime.

Another advantage is that it is "faster and more practical", explains Géraldine Pardieu from the Beach Bar in La Baule (west).

According to Kunze-Concewitz, the Spritz is replacing beer, white wine, champagne and rosé wine, so it is estimated that it will achieve a two-figure growth in the coming years.

The recipe for the Spritz must now resist the effect of fashion.

Although the Mojito is still "the irreplaceable cocktail", according to the waiters, other Italian cocktails like The American or the Negroni can overshadow the Spritz, but without shaking the Milanese manufacturer: the Campari is one of the key ingredients of these two drinks.

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