The venerable spritzer has its roots in Ancient Greece, where it was considered uncouth to drink wine it wasn’t first mixed with water. Today, however, the spritzer has evolved to describe, in Northern Europe, a mixture of white wine and club soda. In Italy—where it has become nothing short of a cultural phenomenon—the spritz describes a mixture of prosecco, sparkling wine and either Campari or Aperol.
It is this bittersweet, pearlescent variation on the spritzer that has become the blueprint for a new generation of bubbling American drinks, like Natasha David’s Pinkies Out—a mix of orange wine, chamomile-infused Dolin Blanc, Cocchi Americano, verjus blanc (unfermented grape juice) topped with dry apple cider—and her bright-red Rivington Punch, a mix of rosé, St. Germain, framboise and Aperol topped with soda water. David takes it even one step further with her Appellation Cooler, a Muscadet-based riff on white sangria kicked up with basil-infused Dolin Blanc, Cocchi Americano and PUNCH-induced soda topper.
The Pasty War’s Bobby Heugel takes a definably Texan approach to the drink, combining Cocchi Americano with the herbal Mexican liqueur Damiana, Angostura bitters, and a generous float of champagne. While Honeycut’s Alex Day goes Caribbean with his Pins & Needles, adding rhum agricole, Angostura bitters, lime juice and pineapple gum syrup to a base of Lillet Rosé and tops it with soda water. Finally, in Miami Beach—a land made for spritzing—the Broken Shaker’s Rosé All Day relies on pink wine and prosecco for its refreshing signature.
Yes, they may be a bit frilly and perhaps carry a whiff of your great-aunt’s 4 p.m. gossip hour, but the spritz is not to be belittled. There are many a polarizing cocktail, but this bubbly little concoction is not one of them. Have you ever heard anyone speak poorly of the spritz?
We didn’t think so.