Aperol Spritz is shaping up to be the drink of the summer PICTURE: Pexels
In May this year, the New York Times started some drama in the food and beverage world, when they wrote that the Aperol Spritz was not a good drink. 

Written by Rebekah Peppler, the piece basically equated the Italian spritzer to a Capri Sun- a highly sweet and unnecessary beverage, beloved by school children. 

“The Aperol spritz isn’t actually good. Served in branded, jumbo wine glasses, the sugary aperitif is paired with low-quality prosecco, soda water and an outsize orange slice, resulting in something that drinks like a Capri Sun after soccer practice on a hot day. Not in a good way.” she wrote.

There were countless think pieces for and against the Italian aperitivo and I couldn’t help but ask two South African fans of the drinks, Gina Myers and Thulisile Phongolo what their thoughts about the spritz were, especially when I saw their Instagram pages lit up with the beverage. 

GINA MYERS, MAKE-UP ARTIST, REALITY TV STAR
Do you remember the first time you had an Aperol Spritz and what was your thought after the first sip?

The first time I had an Aperol spritz was Christmas 2015. I actually remember what I was wearing and who I was with. The first sip tastes like a burst of freshness. I’m a prosecco fan. So I was sold before I even tasted it if I’m honest. The rest was a bonus.

Why do you think it’s such a popular beverage?

It’s an every occasion drink. It’s a refresher and it’s a socializer. I’ve never been offered an Aperol spritz and said no. Nor has anyone else I know. It’s a conversation starter and has an element of sophistication attached.

Do you think it’s overrated, as stated by the New York Times?

I think that it depends on your taste buds. I think it’s underrated actually- it is my number one cocktail to order.

What kind of people do you think enjoy Aperol Spritz?

Social people. People who are having intimate lunches. Friends who are catching up after holidays and before holidays. Champagne people. I could go on! 

THULISILE PHONGOLO, ACTRESS & DJ

What was your thought after the first sip?

I think what many people don’t realise before having their first Aperol Spritz is, how incredibly refreshing it is! It’s the perfect summer drink to get your party started.

Why do you think it’s such a popular beverage?

Aperol is born from Italy, and often what is forgotten is the Italian way of drinking and eating. Every drink, every occasion, every food item is created in such a way that it serves a purpose, plus it’s is a great thirst quencher! Perfect for after work drinks, or for the weekend braai.

Can you make your own? 

It’s a perfect serve is what makes it the perfect drink! Fill your wine glass with ice, add 50% Pro-Spritz (a specially tailored sparkling wine created to prepare the perfect Aperol Spritz), 50% Aperol, a splash of soda water, and garnish with a slice of orange!