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Economy

How Italian Spritz Craze Conquered France

The Italian aperitif Aperol, served with sparkling wine, has now charmed France, a country with no shortage of its own spirits.

The Italian drink has taken over France
The Italian drink has taken over France
Stefano Lupieri

PARIS — Just 2,640 gallons of the Italian aperitif Aperol were consumed in France in 2011, but by 2014 it had grown so popular here that the number grew to 132,000. The projection for 2015 is nearly 200,000 gallons. These figures are much more useful than words to understand the fledgling French love affair with this Italian spirit.

It's rare for a new beverage to become so popular in a new market, particularly one such as France, which is steeped in culinary tradition. But the strategy of Italian spirits company Campari has panned out beyond its wildest dreams. Before France, it put its product to the test in other countries. Since being bought by Campari in 2003, Aperol quadrupeled its sales thanks to the international market. It's now a billion-dollar project whose growth last year reached 7%.

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Ideas

García Márquez And Truth: How Journalism Fed The Novelist's Fantasy

In his early journalistic writings, the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez showed he had an eye for factual details, in which he found the absurdity and 'magic' that would in time be the stuff and style of his fiction.

Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez reads his book

J. D. Torres Duarte

BOGOTÁ — In short stories written in the 1940s and early 50s and later compiled in Eyes of a Blue Dog, the late Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia's Nobel Prize-winning novelist, shows he is as yet a young writer, with a style and subjects that can be atypical.

Stylistically, García Márquez came into his own in the celebrated One Hundred Years of Solitude. Until then both his style and substance took an erratic course: touching the brevity of film scripts in Nobody Writes to the Colonel, technical experimentation in Leaf Storm, the anecdotal short novel in In Evil Hour or exploring politics in Big Mama's Funeral. Throughout, the skills he displayed were rather of a precocious juggler.

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