There are some people who will tell you that you should never mix an Italian wine with anything.
The idea of making a cocktail using wine is anathema to these people. By doing that, you’re diluting the flavour of the wine, which isn’t what the producer would want at all.
We’ll call that group of people the traditionalists. And they certainly make some good points. Using a wine in a cocktail does dilute the flavour.
But then, we have those of us who love a good cocktail.
To us, mixing an Italian wine with other drinks isn’t really a case of diluting the wine. It’s a case of using everything that the wine has to offer, alongside several other ingredients, to create something completely new.
You’re not destroying the taste.
You’re complementing it.
We suppose that each camp will simply have to agree to disagree with the other one. However, there may just be a middle ground that everybody can settle on. There is a classic Italian cocktail that’s very easy to make and doesn’t involve a lot of diluting of the wine.
We’re talking about the classic Italian spritz. And in this article, we’re going to give you a quick and easy recipe for making one.
Spritz: The Recipe
The awesome thing about the spritz is that it’s one of the simplest cocktails in the world to make.
You only need three things:
- About three ounces of a sparkling Italian white wine. Prosecco is the wine of choice for us, though you could experiment with a few others to see what sorts of flavours you end up with.
- An aperitif that will serve as the main mixer for the wine. Again, you could experiment here. However, we think a Campari is a good choice. You’ll need about an ounce of your aperitif.
- Finally, you just need a little bit of club soda. How much you use depends on how much you want to dilute the alcohol in the cocktail. Some people also use sparkling water, though it achieves a pretty similar effect.
And that’s all you need to the drink. Now, it’s just time to make it.
These are the steps:
- Grab a large wine glass and half fill it with ice cubes. We’re talking a big glass here, so go for a red wine glass rather than a Champagne flute. Of course, you could also use a gin glass or a large tumbler if you don’t have any large wine glasses to hand.
- First, add your aperitif and give it a couple of moments to settle.
- Now pour your sparkling wine into the glass. Again, give it a couple of moments.
- Grab a spoon or a straw and give the drink a nice stir. You want to mix the aperitif into the wine as much as you possibly can. Don’t be too vigorous though or you might end up spilling some of the ice.
- If you want to, you can add your club soda or sparkling water. You don’t have to though, as the spritz is perfectly fine without it. This is just a good step for anybody who’s wary about the alcohol content of the cocktail.
- All that’s left is to garnish the cocktail. We recommend using an orange slice, as it gives a nice little tangy flavour to the drink. However, many Italians prefer to garnish this drink with an olive. Again, experiment a little to find out what works best for you.
And that’s all it takes. We told you this was a very easy cocktail to make. And we’re sure that all of the purists out there will be delighted to find that they don’t have to add a multitude of drinks into the mix.
You’re just getting all of the refreshing nature of a Prosecco, tempered ever so slightly by an aperitif. And you don’t even have to dilute the drink if you don’t want to. The soda water part is completely optional.
You can also play around with the ratios a bit. If you’d prefer just to have a hint of your aperitif, that’s perfectly okay. Just use a little less or add a touch more Prosecco. Of course, you can go the opposite way as well.
It all comes down to personal taste.
When’s the Best Time to Serve a Spritz?
We’d say that this probably isn’t a drink that you’re going to be serving with any meals any time soon.
That’s not the say that you couldn’t. But this classic cocktail is far more suited to a lighter environment.
It’s great for parties, especially when the Prosecco’s already flowing and you fancy a little bit of a change. Knocking up a quick spritz gives you a new twist on the Prosecco and will make the drink interesting again after you’ve had a couple of glasses already.
However, we think that the Spritz is the perfect summer drink.
There’s just something so appealing about the idea of being sat in the yard with the sun on your face. You find yourself a little bit of shade and enjoy a few sips of your spritz as you relax and read a book.
Doesn’t that sound like heaven to you?
Of course, it’s also great for outdoor parties. You’re combining the best of both worlds in this situation. Perhaps you could even make a punch out of the drink so that people can head up and serve themselves.
The Final Word
It’s often said that keeping things simple is the best way to do things.
With the spritz, we have a cocktail that’s easy to make and even easier to enjoy. Best of all, you have full control over what the drink ends up like. If you don’t like the ratios, just adjust them until you do.
Now, all you need to do it get your hands on the Italian wine that you’ll use in the spritz. That’s where we come in. Check out a wide range of wines today and you’re sure to find what you need.