Sunset Spritz

Stacey Swenson, Matter House | New York City

“I love vinegar-based shrubs in spritzes,” bar director Stacey Swenson explains. “It lightens and brightens them up, brings the flavors forward. I’m a big fan of both shrubs and watermelon.” This variation, brightened with watermelon shrub and a spicy tincture based on Italy’s Calabrian peppers, Swenson describes as a “hyperseasonal summer drink.” She adds that the “bold but not overwhelming” flavors allow Italicus’ nuanced citrus notes to shine through.

Ingredients

Yield: 1

  • 2 ounces Italicus
  • 5 drops Calabrian chile tincture (see Editor’s Note)
  • 1 ounce salted watermelon shrub (see Editor’s Note)
  • 2 ounces sparkling rosé wine

Garnish: watermelon slice

Directions
  1. In a large wine glass, combine all ingredients over ice.
  2. Garnish with watermelon slice placed inside glass.
Editor's Note

Calabrian Chile Tincture
Break apart 10 dried Calabrian chile peppers and combine with 4 ounces vodka. Allow to sit, covered, at room temperature for two days. Strain and add to a dropper bottle.

Salted Watermelon Shrub
Combine 2 cups of roughly chopped watermelon with 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon salt. Cover and let sit in refrigerator for 2 days. After 2 days, muddle the watermelon to release as much juice as possible. Add 2 ounces fresh lemon juice, and strain. Keeps approximately 5 days.

Tagged: italicus, spritz