Who Knew? The Wine Spritzer Is Cool Again
Confession: I love wine spritzers. I know you’re thinking: wine spritzers?! Why would anyone want to drink wine diluted with bubbly water?! Let me explain. A wine spritzer is a light and refreshing low-alcohol cocktail that can be sipped at any time of day—morning, noon, or night. Spritzes can be found all over Spain and Italy, where the drink is served in countless variations: with Coke, lemon-lime soda, or aperitifs like Aperol. While the fizzy drink was wildly popular in U.S. in the 1980s, it fell out of fashion during the craft cocktail boom. However, the beverage is quietly becoming cool again.
Last summer, Bon Appétit described the spritz as “thirst-quenching, festive, and consumable with day-drinking levels of ease,” and then dubbed it the cocktail of the season. Since then, everyone from Eater to the Wine Enthusiast has jumped on the wine spritzer bandwagon. Just yesterday, Bloomberg Business called the spritz “ideal for sipping in the golden hour before dinner” and described it not as a drink but a way of life. If this isn’t enough to convince you to stir up an ice-filled spritz, I’ve found 10 tantalizing recipes that will have you thirsty to try the trend. Cheers!
In Spain, a red wine spritzer is known as a tinto de verano. You can order it made with sparkling water (casera) or with lemon-lime soda (fanta limon). It’s like a lighter version of sangria that often comes garnished with fresh fruit. I make these all the time—whenever I have a bottle of red wine that’s a couple of days old—with San Pellegrino Limonata.
This classic Italian aperitivo is the orange drink that everyone in Italy drinks. The recipe is simple: three parts prosecco, two parts Aperol, and one part sparkling water. It’s one of the best and most iconic spritz recipes out there. If you are only going to make one cocktail from this roundup, make this one!
For a tart and zesty variation, add limoncello to the traditional white wine spritzer recipe. If you’ve never made a spritzer before, I would experiment with seltzer and Sprite. The flavor profile of each is very different, and Sprite will make the cocktail a little more syrupy.
For an adult spin on pink lemonade, mix up this recipe for sparkling raspberry spritzes. To give the raspberry garnish a pretty, jewel-like finish, sprinkle the berries with fine granulated sugar.
The vibrant red color of this concoction comes from fresh strawberry purée. To make the purée, simply toss a pint of strawberries into the food processor or blender with a little simple syrup and process until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.
Take advantage of blood orange season—now!—and make this sweet, tart blood orange white wine spritzer. Doesn't it have the most beautiful color?
This fancy spritz recipe calls for both white and red wine. It’s a complex drink that requires a few harder-to-find ingredients, like grapefruit shrub and junmai sake, but if you’re up to the challenge, you won’t be disappointed. It’s a wonderfully light and well-balanced spritz!
When watermelon is in season, dice the flesh into cubes and freeze. Use these instead of ice in a sauvignon blanc club soda spritz.
Instead of using boring soda water, why not try the classic chardonnay spritz with ginger beer? It makes for a spicy and cool treat.
Kalimotxo (pronounced calimocho) is a drink native to Barcelona, Spain. It’s quite simply red wine mixed with Coke, and before you diss it, you’ve got to try it. It’s surprisingly well-balanced and really an excellent drink!
Find essentials for spritzes below.
Do you drink wine spritzers? What kind do you make?