The Salty Ingredient You Should Add To Your Aperol Spritz

As summer rolls around and the twilight hour stretches into the evening, there might be no drink more fitting than the Aperol spritz. The simple mix of Aperol, soda water, and prosecco was described as "sunshine in a glass" by Campari America (who manufactures and distributes Aperol), vice president of marketing Melanie Batchelor tells The New York Times.

The Aperol spritz is a classic fixture of the Italian tradition of aperitivo, which consists of a cocktail and small snacks in the late afternoon and early evening before dinner. This was meant to help open the appetite and promote good digestion in the meal to come while enjoying time with friends.

According to Aperol Spritz, the perfect spritz consists of a 3:2:1 ratio of prosecco, Aperol, and soda water served on ice and garnished with an orange. That balance is the key to the drink's signature bittersweet citrusy flavor. There's one more ingredient, though, that can round out that balance without drastically changing the flavor.

Olive brine can actually sweeten your spritz

The Aperol spritz is known to be a slightly sweet drink, but adding a dash of salt can hugely affect its flavor. According to Science Focus, a small amount of salt often reduces bitter flavors and enhances sweet and savory aromas. That means that Aperol's harsher, less desirable qualities will be diminished by adding a small bit of salt.

One of the best ways to do this is to bring the Aperol spritz closer to its original form (the Venetian spritz) by adding a splash of olive brine to the cocktail. EatingWell says that one of the few changes that the Aperol spritz underwent since it was first invented in Venice was the removal of the olive garnish. So by adding a skewer of green olives back to the drink and maybe 1 or 2 teaspoons of the brine, those salts are able to balance out some of the elements of the drink. Spoonabilities notes that the olives' earthiness also complements the Aperol's more herbal notes.

It's also important to use a nice dry prosecco to avoid adding too much sweetness to the drink, as The New York Times argues. Finally, once you've mastered the Aperol spritz, don't forget to try all the different variations of this drink, like the Campari spritz or Vermouth spritz.