American Bartenders Shaking Up Spritzes

Grapefruit cocktail in fluted glass

Forget about the white wine spritzer of the 1970s. The spritzer is back, but it’s not your mother’s (or grandmother’s) version.

“The spritz formula — bitter, bubbly and low in alcohol — is a pretty malleable template, and one that can yield drinks that are simple three-ingredient cocktails, to drinks that are more avant-garde in composition,” Talia Baiocchi, who co-wrote the recently published book Spritz, told The New York Times.

Take the Cali Spritz, for example, popular at California-based bar Prizefighter for its perfect mix of California chardonnay, grapefruit juice, and soda water. Or the mix of gin, fino sherry, strawberry shrub, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, Peychaud’s bitters, cava, and Perrier that make up the  Señorita Spritz at  Llama Inn in Brooklyn. Not to be outdone, however, by another Brooklyn establishment, Montana’s Trail House, which uses a base of agave syrup to balance the bitterness of the Aperol, as well as grapefruit juice, and sparkling white wine, to its unique spritzer.

Other spritzes in America stray from the typical wine-bitter-bubbly recipe and freestyle it. Riding Tigers at Sauvage leaves out the bitters altogether in this mix of sparkling rosé, peach-infused pisco, Pineau des Charentes, Armagnac and lemon juice (no ice). He even declines to put the drink on ice. One could say it’s “super spritzy.”  Read more