Pirlo, aperitivo bresciano

Pirlo, the traditional Brescian aperitivo

What’s better than sit down at a bar table with friends and enjoy a delicious pirlo, Brescia’s one-and-only aperitif? This is the best way to start a night with friends in the old centre: tasty finger food and a regenerating cocktail completely Made in Brescia.

Pirlo, the “coolest” aperitif

Pirlo, aperitivo bresciano

Pirlo, the “coolest aperitif of all”. This is how the New York Times described our signature cocktail. Brescians who love pirlo are proud about this recognition. They are strenous supporters of the original recipe which considers pirlo not as a simple Spritz variation, but as a drink with its own personality.

Fresh, delicate, perfect companion for well-deserved fun after a day at work, let’s find out how to make a true Brescian pirlo and how it is different from Veneto’s spritz.

The perfect Brescian pirlo recipe

The modern recipe for pirlo includes 1/3 still wine, 1/3 Campari, 1/3 sparkling water, and a slice of orange. Common variations are the use of Aperol to replace Campari and the addition of ice. Our “cousin”, Veneto’s spritz, is made with prosecco or sparkling white wine instead of still wine, and bitter instead of Campari.

Initially, pirlo didn’t contain any water and oranges, and it was possible to play with the proportions up to 2/3 of wine and 1/3 of Campari. According to tradition, pirlo should be mixed in pitchers and served fresh after resting in the fridge, without ice. However, today the bartender typically prepares it to order.

Speaking of service, pirlo calls for glasses with long stem and balloon shaped, even if many bar tenders prefer a vintage cup with handle.

What if you are asked to choose between “pirlo” and “pirlone”? Pirlone is simply a larger pirlo. You make the choice, depending on how thirsty you are … and how long your nice chat with friends will last.