The Light Fantastic


A new, more health-conscious generation of consumers is now driving a shift towards drinks that are lighter in alcohol, lower in calories, but just as stylish and without compromising on taste – which is why the Martini Spritz should be an essential addition to your drinks list

You’ve no doubt got a bottle of Martini on your backbar for making cocktails – this iconic Italian vermouth, first launched near Turin in 1863, is after all the biggest-selling alcoholic drinks brand in Europe*. But while you may know the Extra Dry and Rosso expressions, are you fully tapping the potential of the rest of the range?

Because Martini Bianco and Martini Rosato are now emerging as equally essential ingredients in a profitable business, whether you’re a gastropub, cocktail bar or restaurant – and it’s all down to
the Martini Spritz.

The Spritz is part of the Italian way of life – in fact, it’s become such a phenomenon that the expression
spritziamo or ‘let’s spritz’ has become short-hand in Italy for going out and hanging out at the bar, with friends, as the sun goes down. And now the trend is catching on in stylish cities across Europe,
as a new, younger audience is turned on to the Spritz.

In fact Martini on-trade sales in London are up 14% year on year**. This is because of a growing demand among 25- to 34-year-old women for drinks that are just as stylish and delicious, but also that little bit more healthy. Inspired by a Continental approach, they’re moving away from all-night drinking sessions in search of something more refreshing, elegant and easy to drink, whether that’s with lunch or in the evening.

The Martini Spritz ticks all those boxes – made by simply mixing 70ml of Martini Bianco or Martini Rosato in a wine glass with ice, soda water and a citrus garnish, it offers an elegant alternative to a glass of wine that’s not only lower in calories, but also lower in alcohol: a 170ml Martini Spritz contains 105 calories and 1 unit compared to 135 calories and 2.3 units in an equivalent glass of white wine.
And yet the Martini Spritz is easy to communicate to consumers: it can be served either in a wine glass, or by the carafe for sharing with friends, and it even exists in ‘white’ (Bianco) and ‘rosé’ (Rosato) styles. And when you think that wine drinkers were worth a huge £3.5 billion to the on-trade in 2010 – up 3% on the previous year – it’s an opportunity too good to miss.

Like wine, a Martini Spritz is also a great partner for food, but with the added attraction of being lighter in alcohol, making it an attractive up-sell for consumers who might have otherwise skipped the wine, especially at lunchtime. And as it’s lighter and better value (see RSP recommendations below), repeat purchase is that much more likely.

All that – and the Martini Spritz is also quick and easy to make, with potential for a higher GP than both wine and spirits, especially when mixed with soda. Visit the GP calculator on to see for yourself. With so many potential benefits offered by one easy drink, perhaps it’s time you reacquainted yourself with Martini and started profiting from the Martini Spritz. 
*By volume, IWSR 2009;
**CGA, w/e 22.01.11;

How to make the perfect Martini Spritz

1 Fill a medium or large wine glass with ice cubes.

2 Add 70ml of Martini Bianco or Martini Rosato.

3 Top with 100ml soda water.

4 Stir and garnish with a lemon slice for Bianco or orange
slice for Rosato. Or why not mix up a pitcher of Martini Spritz and add eye-catching garnishes such as cucumber and mint for Bianco or raspberries and mint for Rosato.

How to sell it

1 Martini is not a spirit, but a vermouth at 15% abv, so the recommended single measure is 50ml or 70ml, not 25ml or 30ml.

2 For the same reason, when it comes to RSPs, think of pricing 70ml Martini on a par with 35ml spirit, or 50ml Martini on a par with 25ml spirit. The RSP for a Martini Spritz should be lower than a glass of wine as it is topped up with soda.

Get the most out of Martini

– Experiment with the full range: Martini Bianco, Martini Rosato, Martini Extra Dry, Martini Rosso and the most recent addition, Martini Gold by Dolce&Gabbana.
– Martini is wine-based, so once open it will keep for a month unless you store it in a fridge to prevent oxidation and keep it in top condition.

Visit for more information and recipes.

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