Summer Ready Spritzes with Steve Wildy
There’s nothing better than when languid summer afternoons slip seamlessly into long evenings, spent on a comfortable patio in the company of good friends. Of course, this scenario also demands a delicious drink option (or two) and our go-to for summer sipping is always a spritz. Unfamiliar with this light, refreshing, and infinitely customizable beverage? We tapped beverage director Steve Wildy to give us the boozy basics and two simple drink recipes to get us started.
Steve explains that a spritz is a “delightfully loose term in the beverage world, with the only real fixed variables being bubbles and a relatively low proof.” He loves the drink for its “light constitution” and says that its “laissez-faire origination is a perfectly suited refreshment for the mellow, constraint-free vibe of peak summer weekending.” Below, you’ll find two of his favorite “jumping off points” for your own at-home concoctions.
Honey Honey Spritz
"If you're anything like us, there's often an open bottle of white or rosé on the refrigerator door longing to be finished off before its time is up," Steve says. "Many a matriarch through the years has demonstrated that a splash of club soda over ice is the perennial wine reviver, but there's no need to stop where your grandmother or mother may have. Incorporate fresh juice, muddled fruit, herbs, crushed spices, flavored syrups, or even a dash of your favorite craft spirit to make it your own. The following recipe incorporates the verve and mild heat of a jalapeno melon shrub from our friends at Element that can rejuvenate even the most faded holdover of Pinot Grigio."
0.75 oz Element Honeydew Jalapeno Shrub
2.5 oz white or rosé wine
0.5 oz tequila (optional)
0.5 oz honey syrup (mix equal parts honey and hot water and allow to cool - increase to 2:1 for richer honey flavor)
1.5 oz club soda
Shake all contents together except for club soda. Strain over fresh ice in a highball glass and top with club soda.
"If you do want to dig into the history of spritzes, Italy is a good place to start. Known as 'hugo' to vacationing Austrians and Germans, this is a modern day classic in the Sudtirol area of the Alps of Northern Italy where elderflowers grow wild. It encapsulates the simplicity of the spritz ethos perfectly; an easy recipe, an eminently forgiving ratio, and essentially just a handful of locally-available. This version incorporates Belvoir's delicious sparkling "presse'" and can riffed on to suit your tastes. Eliminate the vodka entirely for a lighter feel, change up the herbs, add your choice of fruit, a dash of bitters, or all of the above to make it your own."
3 oz Belvoir Elderflower Presse
2 oz Prosecco
0.5oz vodka (optional)
5-7 mint leaves
Two lemon wheels
In a shaker, combine vodka, fresh mint, lemon wheels, ice, and shake hard. Pour contents over ice in a wine glass and top with Belvoir Presse and Prosecco. Garnish with dried mint and a lemon rosebud sugar rim.
Now that you've got the basics, have fun experimenting with your own spritz recipes! These low alochol, refreshing drinks are the perfect apertif for summer dinner parties!
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