There’s a certain lightness to a spritz that exudes summer vibes. The mix of Italian digestive bitters, dry sparkling white wines, and bubbly water has an effervescence and low-alcohol content that fits perfectly with the whole let’s-day-drink-the-heat-of-a-summer-day-away ethos. In fact, though it’s no paloma, a spritz might be one of the best summer drinks ever invented.
What is a “spritz” exactly? It’s an Italian cocktail that has a digestive bitters base (that’s a liqueur made with botanicals) with splashes of dry white sparkling wine and topped up with sparkling water. It’s very low alcohol, given the low ABVs of both digestive bitters and sparkling wines. Plus, you’re getting nourishing water with every sip. So, yeah, this is the perfect day-drinking cocktail.
To help you get into the spritz spirit this summer, we thought we’d share eight of our favorite variations on the style. These are eight spritzes that any burgeoning home bartender can make in a snap. We’ve specifically kept the recipes broad. This is about pouring booze in a glass and not painstakingly measuring half-ounces of this or that.
The Aperol Spritz is the most accessible spritz you’ll find. Aperol is a sweet mix of gentian (a root with a blue flower), rhubarb, and cinchona (a bitter red flower). The spritz has a nice balance of very light herbal bitterness next to a saccharine sweet edge. The addition of bubbles opens up the bitters and tames them a bit, creating a refreshing balance.
Build in a large red wine glass as follows
- Fill with Ice
- Two-count-pour Sparkling Water
- Four-count-pour Sparkling White Wine (preferably dry Prosecco)
- Four-count-pour Aperol
- Garnish with an Orange Wheel