It’s summertime and the living’s easy. That's all the more reason to shake things up with one of simplest cocktails you can make ever.
READ: 10 Delicious Punches for Any Summer Soiree
Forget everything you know about spritzers, or those watered down wine glasses that are more ice than booze. These libations have gotten a much-needed makeover in time for the balmy months, all thanks to mixologists adding their unique take on the classic refreshing drink.
“During the height of summer, a traditional cocktail is often a bit too formal and aggressive,” says David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, authors of “The 12 Bottle Bar.”
“Spritzers solve this problem with their combination of effervescence and a flavorful, often bitter, base, which simultaneously refreshes and quenches,” they add.
READ: 10 Frozen Boozy Treats to Beat the Heat
The perfect spritzer should only require a handful of tasty ingredients readily accessible at your home bar, pack a tantalizing kick, and more importantly, beat the heat day or night.
For some inspiration, check out these 10 super simple spritzers to get your summer party started:
(BLT Steak in New York)
- 1 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
- 2 oz. apricot puree
- 4 oz. sparkling wine
- 3 dash orange bitters
Build cocktail in mixing glass by adding St. Germain, apricot puree, and bitters. Shake with ice and strain into a champagne flute. Add sparkling wine.
(Mixologist Frank DeBellis of Headless Horseman in New York.)
Puttin’ on the Spritz
- ½ cup HobNob Chardonnay
- ½ cup lemon-lime soda
- 1 lemon slice
- 1 lime slice
Fill glass halfway with ice. Pour chardonnay over ice and top with lemon-lime soda. Add a few lemon and lime slices to glass. Garnish with lemon wheel.
(Wine expert David Noto)
Pomegranate Lime Spritzer
- 2 oz. sweet vermouth
- 2 oz. Campari
- 2 oz. Altaneve Prosecco
- pomegranate seeds
- mint leaves
- 1 lime slice
Add all ingredients in a child flute with ice. Stir and add lime slice for garnish.
(Mixologist Frank DeBellis of Headless Horseman in New York)
Red Berry Spritzer
- ½ cup Josh Cellars Merlot
- ¾ cup club soda
- fresh berries
Fill glass halfway with ice. Pour merlot over ice and top with club soda. Add fresh berries.
(National Honey Board (Honey.com))
Sparkling Honey Fruit Spritzer
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 1 lime, thinly sliced
- 1 orange, halved and thinly sliced
- 3 cups orange juice
- 3 cups sparkling water
- ice cubes
- red or white wine
Combine honey, berries, citrus slices, and orange juice in a pitcher. Using a wooden spoon, press down on the fruit juice and to mix fruit with the honey. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or longer. Add sparkling water, ice, and wine when ready to serve. Stir to mix.
(Chef Emily Wilson of Cooking Planit)
- 4 oz. Lillet aperitif wine, chilled
- 4 oz. club soda, chilled
- 1 orange peel
- 1 lime peel
- 1 lemon peel
Fill a white wine glass with about ½ cup of ice. Pour Lillet over the ice and top with club soda. Drop peels to glass.
(Nitecap in New York)
Campari Mint Spritz
- 1 oz. Campari
- 1 oz. cranberry juice
- 3 oz. prosecco
- 5 fresh mint leaves
In a glass filled with ice add all of the ingredients, adding the mint last. Lightly bruise the mint leaves and add to the glass. Stir one last time and enjoy.
(Mixologist John McCarthy of Bathtub Gin in New York)
Bubble Bee Spritz
- 2 oz. Brugal Extra Dry Rum
- . 75 oz. fresh lemon juice
- .75 oz. honey syrup (50 percent honey, 50 percent water)
- 2 oz. club soda
- 1 lemon wheel
Shake all ingredients with ice, except soda, and strain into a Collins glass. Top with soda and garnish with a lemon wheel.
(David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, authors of “The 12 Bottle Bar")
- 2 oz. Cointreau
- 1 oz. cream soda
- ¼ tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
- dash of orange flower water (suitable for cooking)
- 5 oz. sparkling wine
- 1 orange twist
Build ingredients in a mixing glass, and then pour into an ice-filled goblet or Collins glass. Express the oil from the orange peel over the glass. Garnish with the twist.
(Alivia Jane (www.AliviaJane.com))
Summer Fruit Sangria Spritzer
- 5 cups assorted fruits, such as oranges, pineapples, cherries, cantaloupe, raspberries, mango, and strawberries sliced or cut into chunks
- 1 ½ cups fresh basil or mint leaves
- ½ cup orange liqueur
- 1 bottle white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
- squeeze of fresh lemon juice
In a large punch bowl or pitcher, combine fruit, basil/mint leaves, lemon juice, and orange liqueur. Mash mixture gently with the back of a wooden spoon until basil is bruised and fruit releases juices. Add wine and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least one hour prior to serving. To serve, fill wine glasses with ice and top with drink.