Summer’s languid days and balmy nights are made for at-home entertaining, but if you’re like us, you don’t want to waste those precious hours toiling away on complicated cocktails. The perfect solution? Spritzes. And no, we’re not talking about those cloyingly sweet, white-wine-and-club-soda monstrosities that were as popular as permed hair in the ‘80s. Today, spritzes rely almost exclusively on liqueurs mixed with something bubbly (like champagne, Prosecco or seltzer) to impart a more mature flavor that’s irresistibly invigorating on a sweltering day.
“Spritzes are perfect for summer because they're light, refreshing, and low in alcohol. On a sunny afternoon, a spritz just feels right,” Marcia Simmons, co-author of DIY Cocktails, told The Feast. “What I like most about making spritzes is that soda water and Prosecco pair well with almost anything, so it's very hard to make a bad spritz. With only two or three ingredients, it's easy to adjust them to your tastes or try new ingredients.”
While the Aperol spritz is definitely having a moment (Giada DeLaurentiispreviously told us they’re her go-to choice for dinner parties), here are three other unique and unexpected spritzes that Simmons recommends. Bonus: These recipes are so simple and scalable that whipping them up by the pitcher is even easier than mixing them one at a time. Cheers!
“This spritz is great as a pre-dinner drink at a big summer barbecue,” Simmons says. “The flavor is bold and a little bitter, but it doesn't feel heavy.” Pour equal parts Campari and Prosecco over ice, then top with seltzer to taste. “Depending on my mood,” she adds, “I'll either throw in a green olive or an orange slice to garnish.”
Lillet Rosé Spritz
Simmons reaches for Lillet Rosé “because of its lovely floral, fruit and herbal flavors,” she says. “I mix Lillet Rosé with a dry grapefruit soda in equal parts and serve it over ice with a slice of grapefruit and a sage leaf.” Grapefruit sodas can vary in sweetness, so if the result is too sugary for your taste, Simmons advises mixing in a little seltzer or adding a splash of Prosecco.
A lighter variation on the Pimm’s Cup (a British fave that’s basically sparkling lemonade mixed with the gin-based liqueur Pimm’s No. 1), this three-ingredient spritz is made by pouring equal parts Prosecco, Pimm’s Cup No. 1 and English-style sparkling lemonade over ice. “I like to garnish with slices of strawberry and cucumber with a sprig of mint,” Simmons notes, “but any one of those or a simple slice of orange would be perfect on its own.” If you can't find English-style sparkling lemonade, simply mix together equal parts lemonade and seltzer.
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