Monday 25 May 2015

Spritz & Snacks: Inspired by Venice

aperol spritz and virgin spritz by Alexis

One thing that we brought back with us from our trip to Paris and Venice was a spritz & snack habit.

Cantina del Mori - cicheti in Venice -

In planning for Venice we used the Polpo cookbook as a culinary guidebook and once we were there we sought out quite a few bars that are recommended in the back of the book. Most evenings - and some lunchtimes too - we'd stop in a bar, often the kind that you might otherwise pass without looking twice, order a spritz (or glass of wine if it was the second bar of the day) and choose some snacks from the bar.

Cantina del Mori - cicheti in Venice -
Cicheti near the Rialto Market at Cantina del Mori

Cicheti, as they are known in Venice, snacks to our children, are most often made from really simple ingredients in bars where kitchen space is limited or nonexistent. Mostly they are mouth sized bites, quite tapas like, with a cocktail stick in for easy serving from the counter. We'd choose a couple that took our fancy and let the children choose theirs too and then sit or stand in the evening sunshine pondering the day... or what we were going to do for dinner (always easier when when you're not completely starving).

Canalside cicheti in Venice -
Canalside spritz and cicheti - food tourists!

This was on our last evening where we had a mini bar crawl along a canal opposite a gondola workshop - and some of the best cicheti of the trip.

Making an aperol spritz -

So back in our kitchen at home this is becoming a typical Friday night scene. An aperol or campari spritz for adults and a virgin spritz for the small people.
We make ours with two parts aperol, three parts prosseco and a splash of soda water. Ice, a slice of lemon and a green olive are also compulsorily.
The children's versions are made with some still lemonade, soda water and some blood orange San Pellegrino - mainly for the colour, although they do taste good. Coco and Henry love olives but for other children we've added grapes on a cocktail stick instead.

Coco having a virgin spritz -

cicheti needs fresh seasonal ingredients!

For the snack it's meant to be all about what's local and seasonal - so radishes from the garden (I know - so right on... please take this with a bucket full of salt)!

An english take on cicheti -

Homemade cicheti -

We've had a good variety of bits and bobs so far, it really is anything goes. Sometimes we just take things out of the fridge and lay them out so we can create our own combinations

Hugh says a max of two ingredients per item... Coco and Henry often dream up their own and make us try them, turns the tables a bit!

An english take on cicheti -

An English take on cicheti with glutney chutney, chedder and cucumber. If you're lucky you might even get table service!


  1. After we got back from Florence last year we were similarly obsessed with Campari and anti past I type snacks. It will return to our menu this week! Looks delicious and you have a great waiter there!