3 simple but snazzy spritz recipes for summer soirées

Sam Wylie-Harris delves into spritz lovers’ new favourite cocktail book to stir up aperitivo hour.



There’s something stylish about a spritz. Even the name sounds a bit glitzy – and fizzing with summer vibes.


But what lies at the heart of this Italian drink?


“There are countless ways to make a fizzy cocktail, but they can’t all be called a spritz,” Danielle Centoni writes in her new book, Just a Spritz: 57 Simple Sparkling Sips with Low to No Alcohol.


“A spritz can be made with almost any bubbly and any spirit, but to keep it true to form a spritz must be: Low in alcohol, bubbly, refreshing, at least a little bit bitter, the opposite of fussy.”


The book promises to help you achieve “spritz perfection” – from how to build a spritz, to easy-to-make tart and sweet syrups and juicy shrubs, to the importance of garnishes and how they “add panache to a spritz”.


Here are three favourites from the book to get the aperitivo party started…


1. The Hugo


This youngster in the spritz canon is ideal for those who crave the flavour of juicy lime, with mint and elderflower adding sweet and breezy refreshment.


A lime-juice-enhanced riff on the original created in 2005 by bartender Roland ‘AK’ Gruber in the South Tyrol region of Italy, it took off like wildfire, and with good reason.



Ingredients:

  • 60ml St Germain Elderflower Liqueur

  • 7ml fresh lime juice

  • 90ml prosecco, chilled

  • 30ml elderflower tonic water

  • 2 mint sprigs

  • 2 lime wheels for garnish.


Method: Muddle the leaves from 1 mint sprig in a sturdy wineglass. Fill the glass three-quarters full with ice and pour the St Germain, lime juice, and prosecco over the ice. Top with the elderflower tonic. Gently stir to combine. Garnish with the remaining mint sprig and tuck the lime wheels between the ice and the side of the glass.


2. Blueberry Lemonade Spritz


If you can’t resist the yin and yang of tart lemons and sweet blueberries, you’ll love this adorably pinky purple spritz.


The muddled thyme adds an herbal dimension that makes it feel a little more grown-up.



Ingredients:

  • 35g fresh blueberries

  • 2 thyme sprigs

  • 30ml fresh lemon juice

  • 30ml simple syrup

  • 90ml prosecco, chilled

  • 30ml elderflower tonic

  • Skewered blueberries, for garnish.


Method: In a sturdy wineglass, muddle the blueberries and 1 of the thyme sprigs. Fill the glass three-quarters full with ice and stir. Pour the lemon juice, simple syrup, and prosecco over the ice and top with the elderflower tonic. Gently stir to combine and garnish with the remaining thyme sprig and skewer of blueberries.


3. The Starburst


We all know the best Starburst candy is the orange one, right? Right?


Well, even if you don’t agree, as long as you like orange flavours, you’ll love this spritz. This is the drink to serve to friends who aren’t up for anything too tannic, and the proportions are very easy to remember.


The blood orange soda makes it super juicy and downplays the bitterness of the Aperol. If you can handle a bit more bite, use Campari instead of Aperol.



Ingredients:

  • 60ml Aperol or Campari

  • 60ml Sanpellegrino Aranciata or Aranciata Rossa orange soda

  • 60ml prosecco, chilled.

  • Blood orange wheel for garnish.


Method: Fill a wineglass three-quarters full with ice. Pour the Aperol, orange soda, and prosecco over the ice. Gently stir to combine. Tuck the orange wheel between the ice and the side of the glass.



Extracted from Just a Spritz: 57 Simple Sparkling Sips with Low to No Alcohol, by Danielle Centoni, photography by Eric Medsker, is published by Artisan Books, £12.99. Available now.

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