Yesterday a paper of record came after the Aperol spritz. Yes, for reasons unfathomable beyond “hates fun,” the New York Times decided to run an article with a headline declaring that the much-beloved drink was “not good.” The author of the piece describes it as “like a Capri Sun after soccer practice on a hot day. Not in a good way.” Which, first of all, in what possible way is a Capri Sun after soccer practice not a good thing? But her complaints mostly seem to be about mediocre versions of the drink, rather than the drink itself — that they’re served with too much ice diluting them and made with low-quality prosecco.
Once done bashing the good name of Instagram and Italy’s beloved cocktail, the article turns and gets to its actual point: encouraging users to make other types of spritzes, specifically an amaro spritz and a tonic one with Lillet Blanc. Both instructions say they should be served in a wine glass full of ice, so apparently dilution isn’t too much of a problem, but you’ll also notice that (and I say this as an avowed lover of anything Lillet for summer afternoons) neither possess the kind of breezy, colorful embodiment of sunshine and fun that the Aperol spritz does.
Beside the question of whether or not the Aperol spritz is inherently a good drink, the article has a good premise: Try more spritzes. But one has to wonder why they felt the need to take such a firm stand yucking other people’s yum in order to encourage that. Why not use the Aperol spritz — and its popularity — as a starting point to celebrate the grand variety of spritzes in the world? Or talk about how people have had the entry-level version, and now they can try the expert version?
The new spritz options offered do sound delicious, but it hardly seems like anyone will sit on their porch reliving their Italian vacation while sipping on an amaro spritz — the brownish shade, even with fizz, just doesn’t scream “Amalfi sunshine” in quite the same way. Which is fine for some occasions, but seems to miss the point of the Aperol spritz.