By Alison Bailin Batz / Photo by Elizabeth Marie
Did you know that 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of Aperol, the vibrant orange-red Italian apertif?
“The seeds of the Aperol Spritz cocktail were actually sewn sooner – after the Napoleonic Wars in the 1800s,” says Valentina Huerta, who owns Nonna Urban Eatery with her husband Gian Franco Brugaletta. “During that time, when Austria-Hungary occupied Northeastern Italy, they mixed Italian wine with a spritz of water and called it a Spritz.”
Over time, the water was replaced with sparkling water and wine gave way to wine fortified with a liqueur.
“Aperol, which is slightly sweet and slightly bitter, was invented in Padua, Italy, in 1919 and showcased at the Padua International Fair,” Huerta says. “Soon after, it was added to the cocktail and the Aperol Spritz was born.”
Dedicated to honoring all things Italian, Nonna – “grandmother” in Italian – pays homage to several classic Italian cocktails on its menu, including the Aperol Spritz ($12).
The fruity beverage features equal parts Aperol and Naonis Prosecco Spumante Brut, an Italian sparkling wine with flavors of green apple, nectarine and pear.
“Prosecco is to Italy as Champagne is to France, for those unfamiliar,” says Huerta. “We love Naonis because it has tiny bubbles, which lends to more of a fizzy look and taste than other brands.”
A spritz of soda water is added, and then the cocktail is poured into a wine glass with ice and a freshly cut orange slice.
“It looks like sunshine in a glass and tastes refreshing, slightly sweet, and as crisp as a warm spring day,” says Huerta, noting that the cocktail is only $5 on Wednesdays.
Nonna Urban Eatery, 7240 E. Main St., Scottsdale; 480.663.3296; www.nonnascottsdale.com.