Italian “spritz” was originally just a mixture of sparkling water and wine, like the “spritzers” that can still be found in many parts of the world today. Over the years, the recipe evolved and bitter liqueur was added to give spritz its trademark orange hue. This colourful cocktail has now come to embody the image of the Venetian aperitif and the famous happy hours that have become an established tradition throughout Italy. In its home region, spritz is still served in its original form: wine (preferably prosecco) is topped up with sparkling or soda water. The most widespread version in Venice is made with the addition of Select, a liqueur with a slightly bitter taste that was invented on the nearby island of Murano. Where is the best place to try it? The obviously answer is in the bacari, traditional inns which serve little glasses of wine known as ombre as well as spritz. The drinks come with little snacks called cicheti. There are two places that everyone should experience. The first is Cantina Do’ Mori at number 429 in the San Polo sestiere, just around the corner from the Rialto Bridge. It is the oldest bacaro in Venice and it was once a favourite haunt of Casanova. Take our advice and order one of the traditional Venetian sandwiches known as francobolli (“stamps”) to go with your drink. If you are near the Guggenheim museum, stop off at the Cantine del Vino Già Schiavi (at 992 Dorsoduro). As in many other authentic Venetian venues, everyone stands as they savour their aperitifs and glasses of wine, which are served with appetizers of deli meats, cheese and sardines.