Springtime spritz roundup
These bubbly cocktails are the perfect poolside or anytime drink; photos by Michael Hanlon
When talking about refreshing cocktails that are also incredibly easy to make, nothing beats a spritz. Spritzes are simple concoctions consisting mainly of sparkling wine, club soda, and a focal point ingredient, mainly a liqueur.
The refreshing nature of spritzes and their naturally low ABV make them a perfect spring and summer drink that can be enjoyed any time of day.
The spritz is of European descent, and the original recipe followed a formula: prosecco, a bitter liqueur such as Aperol or Campari, and soda water.
However, the beauty of formulas is that they can be applied with variables swapped in and out, meaning almost anything can be turned into a spritz or spritzer. Plus, you don’t even need to follow the formula exactly either. If you want the drink to be a bit stronger, add a bit of gin or vodka. For a bit weaker drink, ease up on the liquor and replace with club soda.
Spritzes can be changed and adjusted based on any preference, allowing for limitless possibilities. The cocktails on this list range from the true European spritzes to drinks that go beyond what a spritz can be.
Negroni sbagliato (Credit:Food & Wine)
The Negroni Sbagliato rocketed to fame last year after HBO’s House of the Dragon star Emma D’Arcy mentioned the cocktail in a now viral social media video. While this drink doesn’t technically fall under the “spritz” specifications, it still earned a spot on this list as it is actually a great cocktail. The sweetness of the prosecco helps balance out the bitterness of the Campari, and the ratios of the three ingredients can be adjusted for personal preference.
- 1 part Campari
- 1 part sweet vermouth
- 1 part prosecco
Add Campari and sweet vermouth to a glass with ice, stir to chill. Add prosecco. Garnish with an orange twist.
Aperol spritz (Credit: Aperol)
Aperol is an Italian bitter aperitif that is sweet, citrussy, and refreshing and is a key part to perhaps the most famous spritz of all time. This recipe is from Aperol and is considered the official Aperol spritz recipe that is approved by the International Bartending Association.
- 3 parts prosecco
- 2 parts Aperol
- A splash of soda water
Add prosecco and Aperol to a glass with plenty of ice. Add a splash of soda water to taste Garnish with an orange slice.
Campari spritz (Credit: Campari)
Campari is another type of aperitif, perhaps one of the most well known. It was made famous for being a critical part of a Negroni, as well having its own distinctive flavor profile. Campari is like Aperol’s much more bitter cousin, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be delicious and refreshing in its own right.
- 3 parts prosecco
- 2 parts Campari
- A splash of soda water
Add prosecco and Campari to a glass with ice. Add a splash of soda water to taste Garnish with an orange slice.
Lillet Blanc spritz (Credit: Lillet Blanc)
Lillet (pronounced li-lay) is a French apéritif that is flavored with herbs and citrus. Lillet Blanc is light with subtle floral and herbal notes, which makes it incredibly versatile. This cocktail is refreshing and delicious and is one of my favorites year-round but especially in the spring and summer.
- 2 ounces Lillet Blanc
- 2 ounces soda water (Optional)
- 1 ounce gin
Add equal parts of Lillet Blanc and soda water to a glass with lots of ice.Garnish with a lemon twist and mint or other preferred herb. For an extra kick, add one part of your favorite gin.
Elderflower spritz (Credit: St-Germain)
St-Germain is a French liqueur made with fresh elderflowers. It is incredibly sweet and can be added to nearly any cocktail to give it a floral taste. Fun fact: Bartenders at the world-famous Death and Company Bar in New York City refer to St-Germain as “ketchup” because you can add it to anything and it will most likely make it better. Elderflower spritzers are floral, fruity, and sweet.
- 2 parts prosecco
- 1.5 parts St-Germain
- 2 parts soda water
Add St-Germain into a glass with ice. Top with prosecco and soda water. Give the cocktail a light stir. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Mint julep spritzer
If every month had a cocktail, May’s would absolutely be the Mint Julep, the iconic cocktail of the Kentucky Derby. While already very refreshing, the Mint Julep can be converted into a spritzer that can be enjoyed all day long.
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 2 ounces prosecco
- 1 ounce soda water
- 8–10 mint leave
Muddle the mint and syrup in a glass. Add two ounces of bourbon and fill the glass with ice. Add prosecco and soda and give a light stir. Garnish with a large sprig of mint.