Wine spritzers for spring? Groundbreaking.
But really, what drink is more perfect for the first warm weeknights and the patio days with friends? Nothing, in our opinion. Wine spritzers are a great low ABV wine cocktail option, and they are easy to customize for flavor preferences. Plus, you likely have all of the ingredients in your fridge right now …
But if you don’t have the ingredients, order some canned wine, that way you’re set for a season of sipping spritzes!
Most wine spritzer recipes encourage club soda, or a sparkling plain water, but even a flavored sparkling water will work here — especially a citrus flavor. Try grapefruit or lemon with white wine, and a tangerine flavor with a chilled red.
WHAT IS A WINE SPRITZER?
A wine spritzer is essentially the OG wine cocktail. It’s a mixture of three ingredients: wine, sparkling water, and a lemon or an orange peel. You can use red wine, white wine, or even rosé. It’s completely up to you! There aren’t any special rules, but the best spritzers are made with affordable wine and served with ice. It’s a refreshing drink that’s light on booze but big on flavor.
WHERE DID THE WINE SPRITZER COME FROM?
Origins of the wine spritzer are a little fuzzy … but experts have traced this drink back to the mid-1800s. It’s believed that this drink was made to create a refreshing, sparkling, and diluted wine. Regardless of who “invented” this delicious drink, they definitely succeeded in creating a beverage that has stood the test of time.
HOW IS A SPRITZ MADE?
First, gather your ingredients, and make sure that they’re cold! This part is very important. There’s nothing refreshing about luke-warm wine with soda water, and you don’t want the ice to melt so fast it dilutes the drink. Even if you are using red wine, chill it in the fridge for a few hours before mixing up your cocktail.
Once you have cold ingredients, making a spritz is simple! Take your favorite cocktail glass and fill it with ice. Then, pour about ¾ glass of cold wine, top it off with cold sparkling water, and add a peel of citrus. We recommend lemon for white wine, and an orange peel for red wine (sangria style). Stir gently, and enjoy!
LEVEL UP YOUR SPRITZ!
A wine spritzer doesn’t have to be as simple as soda water and wine. You can add liquors such as Aperol or St. Germain to make a cocktail that’s a little more elevated, with not a lot of effort. Most sweet liquors (including Chambord) would work well with a sparkling white wine. Just remember to dilute it with sparkling water to prevent a super-sweet and high ABV concoction.
But if you do like your drinks on the sweeter side, try mixing red wine and Coca-Cola. This is a famous spritz called kalimotxo that hails from Spain, and is absolutely delicious. The ratio is slightly different — equal parts red wine and Coca-Cola, so it’s even lighter and more bubbly than the original red wine spritzer. If you’re making it at home, buy Coca-Cola made with cane sugar for the best results.
Raise your spritz and cheers! Spring is finally here.
Erin Hooker is a writer with experience creating wine, food, and interior design content. She began contributing to Graham + Fisk’s blog in 2021.