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Thursday 16 May 2024

A nifty liquid taste of Italy to enliven Australian tables

Everyone needs the occasional alcohol-free day, or two. Even wine writers.

The trouble is that most of the faux alcoholic drinks on the market are just a bit shit and eye-wateringly over-priced.

Water is boring if your trying to match it with food and a lot of commercial sodas are absurdly sweet.

One alternative to saccharine sodas is very adult newcomer SPRIO Spritz.

This Australian-made beverage has been created by a wine expert and a hospitality stalwart (both of Italian origin), and aims to replicate the flavours of the Mediterranean in a a sophisticated and healthy way.

It is being billed as "possibly the world’s first carbonated beverage made specifically to pair with food".

There are actually several products making similar claims, but there ae some defiinite Sprio plusses: premium fruit extracts, low to no sugar sweeteners, and natural colours and flavours .

The recommendations are picking up a SPRIO Sicilian Lemon Spritz to pair with seafood, shellfish and salads (or anything you would squirt fresh lemon on; in my case salt and pepper squid); enjoying the balanced bitterness of the SPRIO Chinotto on any antipasti, or sampling the SPRIO Blood Orange Spritz with white meats: chicken, pork and veal (although it went brilliantly with some mortadella).

The men behind the brand are Anthony Nania, a wine expert and educator, and hospitality veteran Fabbio Navarroli (Tuscan Bar).

“What started as an idea for a brand name in early 2014 while I was staying at a friend’s winery in Castel San Pietro [in Emilia Romagna], became a 10-year concept," says Nania.

"In 2022 Fabbio and I decided to embark on our journey to produce an excellent quality “all-natural”, low to zero sugar spritz-style soft drink range, with fine, elegant champagne-style bubbles, and a fresh lasting taste and flavour like no other.

“We wanted to develop a drink for the discerning health-conscious individual - that would only contain high-quality natural ingredients, be highly enjoyable and become the drink of choice that would pair exceptionally with or without food. All this without any fanfare or plethora of broken promises of so many products.”

After sourcing the Sicilian lemons, Blood oranges and Chinotto from Calabria and Sicily, the team began producing Italian style artisanal beverages.

The SPRIO Spritz collection is currently available in select health food stores, and fine food grocers. Cartons of 24 can be purchased directly from the website. Cartons of 24 cost $88. Visit to order or find out more about the brand:

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