You’ve probably heard of an Aperol Spritz. Maybe you’ve even had one while vacationing in the country known as “Italy.” But that’s just one of the many kinds of spritzes that you can make - and it’s far from the best. You can add just about anything to a spritz. Even gin. (That’s a French 75.) So let’s start with a big list of some of the best base ingredients for spritzes, then we’ll show you how to make one.
A spritz is really just three things: prosecco, some kind of amaro or liqueur, and a splash of club soda. Really, it’s the amaro or liqueur you choose that’s going to give your spritz its flavor. Here are some of our favorites (which can also be used in a wide variety of other drinks): Amaro Nonino, Montenegro, Cocchi Americano, Capeletti, Contratto Bitter, Contratto Aperitif, Amaro dell’Erborista, Amaro Nardini, Amaro dell’Etna, Creme De Pamplemousse, Creme De Cassis, Chambord, Maraschino, Galliano, St. Germain, Sloe Gin, Cynar, Cherry Heering, Strega, Aperol, Campari, and Yellow Chartreuse.
The list goes on, but don’t let that overwhelm you. Just think of these ingredients as falling on a spectrum between sweet and bitter - and let your preferences guide you to the spritz that’s right for you (Aperol, for example, is on the sweet side - whereas Cynar is very bitter). In the end, this is a highly personal exercise, and, much like a high school counselor or a quiz that tells you which Twilight character you’re most likely to kiss, it’ll help you cement your identity and find a path in life.
What You’ll Need (For Any Type Of Spritz):
- Wine glass, highball, or rocks glass
- Sparkling water
- Any amaro/liqueur from the list above
Step One: Learn The Anatomy Of A Spritz
To reiterate: a basic spritz has just prosecco, amaro or liqueur, and a little club soda. That’s it. A good, dry prosecco naturally balances out the sugar of sweet ingredients like Aperol, so you don’t need anything else, other than a bit of sparkling water at the end to provide a tiny bit of dilution.
Step Two: Find A Liqueur/Amaro That Calls Out To You, Occasionally In Your Sleep
Did you find something you like? Great. Give a quick taste, and see if it’s more sweet (like Aperol) or bitter (like Campari). If it’s sweet, pour between 1-1.5 ounces over ice in the glassware of your choice - and consider adding a half ounce of fresh grapefruit or lemon juice to round things out. If it’s bitter, use .75 - 1.25 ounces, and think about adding a quarter or half an ounce of simple syrup to help cut the bitterness. That said, juice and simple syrup are completely optional, and you can definitely stray from the measurements we just provided - as long as you don’t use more than, say, 2 ounces of whatever you chose.
Step Three: Prosecco
You can use any dry sparkling wine for a spritz, but prosecco is the default - and it works well, due its crisp neutrality. (Prosecco is the club soda of the sparkling wine world, and we mean that as a compliment.) After you pour your liqueur/amaro/aperitivo in your wine glass, top that off with roughly 4 ounces of prosecco.
Step Four: Sparkling Water
Finally, add a dash of sparkling water to your spritz. It’ll provide some nice dilution and help prevent your drink from getting too thick and syrupy. And that’s it. You have a spritz. Now take a sip, and feel free to add more of any of your three main ingredients to your liking. Want it to taste a little stronger? Add your liqueur. Feels a little too boozy? Pour in a little more sparkling or soda. Now add a garnish. What should you use? That’s entirely up to you - a lemon twist, a grapefruit twist, an orange slice, or even a few good olives. The important thing is, you make this spritz your own.