While Australians only recently discovered the pleasure of aperitivos, Italians have been happily sipping on them for decades. Almost every region of Italy has its preferred pre-dinner drink and in Venice, it’s a Select Aperitivo. Unlike a certain other famous Italian aperitivo spritz, the Select Venetian Spritz is garnished with a large green olive. It also offers a different flavour profile.
According to Food & Wine: “While it shares the low proof and mellow sweetness of Aperol, Select is quite a bit more complex, with pleasant notes of vanilla and a nice bitter edge.”
The recipe for a Select Venetian Spritz is simple: 3 parts prosecco, 2 parts Select, 1 part soda, one green olive and lots of ice.
Classic Venetian aperitif Select Aperitivo is celebrating its centenary this year with a series of bespoke collaborations with notable Venetian artists and designers.
Select was created in 1920 by the Pilla brothers at a distillery in Venice and features 30 botanicals, including juniper berries and rhubarb roots. The juniper adds balsamic and floral notes, while the rhubarb contributes the required bitterness.
To mark its 100-year anniversary, Select Aperitivo has announced a series of bespoke collaborations with notable Venetian artists and designers.
One of the first collaborations will be with the historic Murano glass factory, Salviati, where they will create a bespoke and limited-edition glass launching in late September.
The partnership between Select and Salviati will focus on the contemporary spirit of authentic Venetian traditions, with Salviati producing classic Venetian Glass artistry for over 160 years. For this collaboration, a limited-edition collection of one hundred artistic glasses will be designed to reinterpret authentic Venetian glassmaking in a contemporary style.
The glasses will evoke the iconic elements of the brand, with the characteristic ruby red colour, the silhouette of the long-stemmed glass on the label and the unmistakable line of the bottleneck. There will be a strong reference to the typical craft of Murano glass in the torchon stem reminiscent of the Venetian poles and in the foot decorated with “twisted Rigadin” (Rigadin ritorto).
The Limited Edition glasses will be on sale exclusively in Venice, at the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, a sixteenth-century palace, with part of the proceeds going towards supporting the Abate Zanetti Glass School in Murano.
The second collaboration, which will launch in October, will see award-winning Italian illustrator, Emiliano Ponzi, designing 11 different illustrations which will tell the story of Venice and SELECT Aperitivo over the decades.
Emiliano Ponzi is internationally renowned for his bold, textured designs. His work appears in advertisements, newspapers, magazines, books, and animations, and has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, the Economist, Newsweek, and Esquire. Ponzi’s awards include the Young Guns Award and the Gold Cube from the Art Directors Club of New York and medals of honor from the Society of Illustrators of New York and Los Angeles.
Select returns production to Venice
The anniversary will also see the long-awaited return of its production to the heart of Venice, with an experiential space, ‘Ca’ Select’ (the House of Select), launching to the public in 2021.
The distillery will be located in a former industrial laboratory in the Cannaregio district.
As well as hosting the maceration process of SELECT’s unique herbs and spices, Ca’ Select will focus on the relationship with Venice and its inhabitants, creating an experiential space open to the city and its guests. Alongside a tasting area and events space for social and cultural initiatives will be an exclusive interactive multimedia exhibit that will tell the story of SELECT.
Marco Ferrari, CEO of Gruppo Montenegro, said: “This centenary is intended to be a great declaration of Select’s deep love for Venice which is expressed through the art of glass and illustration, but also through something more tangible such as the return of part of the production and of course through what remains for us emblem par excellence of Select’s strong bond with the city, that is the original Venetian Spritz.”
If you’d love to try a Venetian Spritz, Select can be purchased nationally at Dan Murphys, RRP $29.99.