There’s No Wrong
Way to Spritz

Spritz cocktail recipes Spritz cocktail recipes

There’s No Wrong Way to Spritz

The ultra-cool, low-octane cocktail that’s made for summer drinking

Summertime, at its best, means lazy afternoons or early evenings spent sitting out underneath the sun enjoying a slightly slower pace and indulging in life's little pleasures. One of those pleasures has to be sipping on a good spritz—they're light and punchy yet bracing, effervescent and just alcoholic enough to keep the festivities going into the night. It's the kind of drink that encourages you to slow down and linger.

A classic cocktail that's legitimately old school, Europeans have been sipping on spritzes for over a century. The drink's origins trace back to ancient Rome, but over the last decade or so the iconic cocktail has become something of a phenomenon. Of course, the iconic spritz is made with Aperol, the Italian bitter apéritif. And while that certainly is a satisfying way to go, this a nimble drink that can be tinkered with in any number of ways and always comes out satisfying.

Which might explain why we see so many at the moment. Taliaa Baiocci and Leslie Pariseau, authors of Spritz, a handbook of sorts, filled with history and recipes, say that there's no harm in experimenting, but there are three essential truths when it comes to a spritz: You need the fizz. “Whether its bubble is acquired through soda water, sparkling wine or a flavored soda, the spritz would not be a spritz without buoyancy.” You want to keep the alcohol relatively low. Meaning it should contain no more than an ounce or two of strong spirits. “This is a drink that's consumed when the day is waning and the night is young.” And since this is a pre-dinner drink, it should have some bitterness as a means to open the stomach for a meal. “It's meant to be consumed in that liminal hour between work and play.”

With that in mind, we've pulled together some unconventional riffs on the spritz. They require limited ingredients and come together in a snap—just pour over ice, no need to even stir. Which is good because they tend to go down fast. So start mixing some up immediately.

Advertisement

4 Spritz Cocktails

Doppio Spritz

Joe Campanale of Brooklyn's Fausto offers up a twist on the classic aperitivo by finishing it with tonic water, instead of Prosecco, which Punch says, “gives it an extra gentian kick.”

Garnish with an orange wedge and green olive.

Garnish with an orange wedge and green olive.

Advertisement

Whisky Spritz

This is the gentleman's alternative to a “ginger and Jack.” A splash of Johnnie Walker gets an effervescent boost from ginger ale and sparkling apple juice. Even those who aren't fans of Scotch will appreciate the thirst-quenching nature of this Delicious drink.

Garnish with an lemon wedge.

Garnish with an lemon wedge.

Advertisement

Cran-Apple Spritz

If you're not into the really bitter spritzes, this one's for you. JAJA's aged reposado is a smooth tequila with a caramel sweetness and a spicy, peppery finish. Cranberry adds the tartness and a hard apple cider provides the sparkle.

Top with soda water for more fizz. Garnish with an apple slice.

Top with soda water for more fizz. Garnish with an apple slice.

Advertisement

Basil & Lillet Spritz

Emily Laurae's French-inspired riff is less bracing and more herbaceous thanks to the fresh, whole basil leaves. As she recommends, a dry sparkling wine is the key to balancing our the flavors.

  • 1 oz. Lillet
  • 4 oz. sparkling wine
  • 4 fresh basil leaves

Add Lillet and basil leaves to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously to infuse the flavors before straining over ice and adding your sparkling wine. Garnish with a lime wedge and basil leaf.

  • 1 oz. Lillet
  • 4 oz. sparkling wine
  • 4 fresh basil leaves

Add Lillet and basil leaves to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously to infuse the flavors before straining over ice and adding your sparkling wine. Garnish with a lime wedge and basil leaf.

Spritz-
to-Go

Spritz to go
Spritz to go

If you’re in a place where you can’t let it show that you’re imbibing, or perhaps want the spritz equivalent to the “shower beer,” build yourself a spritz directly into a can of pamplemousse LaCroix. Pour out a couple ounces of the water, then add your Aperol and a splash of elderflower liqueur like St-Germain. No need to garnish.

NOTE: Items featured in this story are independently selected by the editorial team. Purchasing via our links may earn Valet. a portion of the sale, which helps fund our editorial mission.

The Smart Way
to Start Your Day

The Daily Valet. is your cheat sheet to what you need to know right now. Never feel caught off guard again.

Drinking Like
a Gentleman

Advertisement