This Is The Season Of The Spritz

by Nora Furst  |  03.12.2022

Something about the Spritz is supremely sexy, evoking daily aperitivo hours in sun-slanted piazzas with stylish young people leaning languidly on their Vespas. This is assuredly a stereotype that is only barely based on the reality of the Spritz and its cultural history. It might have something to do with some very good advertising, or a bit of romanticism based on tropes in Italian cinema. But there is certainly nothing wrong with indulging in a bit of stereotyped day-dreaming sometimes.

One of the beautiful things about this iconic cocktail, and its catchy 3:2:1 ratio (that’s bitter:bubbles:seltzer, to you sir) is that it can work with a wide swath of bitters, amari, vermouths, aperitifs, sparkling wines, tonics, and flavored seltzers (take that, Big Spritz!). There is an incredible array of beautifully produced products that shine in tandem or trio when given the chance to get spritzy.

Next time we make a Spritz at home we might be taken to that nameless Piazza, where we clink glasses with our fashionable friends in leather jackets, but with some of these inventive options, we might also have the chance to land on a beach in San Sebastian or an apricot orchard in Napa or a pizzeria in Brooklyn. The Spritz is truly transportive.

Try these 5 spirits as the base in your next Spritz.

Faccia Brutto Aperitivo

A variation of the classic red bitter, this bad boy comes in strong from Brooklyn with seventeen herbs and botanicals and real cochineal coloring (vegans beware!). Rhubarb, orange and gentian pop on the palate. Keep it simple here, with equal parts Faccia Brutto Aperitivo and a dry sparkling wine – champagne works; when doesn’t it? – a splash of grapefruit seltzer, and an orange slice.

Brucato Orchards

From husband and wife team Sierra and James Clark comes this new California amaro with a round and luscious mouthfeel and pronounced bitterness. The apricots, walnuts, meyer lemon and cinnamon in Brucato Orchards play well with sweeter sparklings, think Moscato d’Asti or Cremant, and an amontillado sherry in the vermouth role. A lemon twist is nice; a sprig of thyme really pushes it over the top.

Fast Penny Spirits Amaricano

Pulling its inspiration from Italian tradition, this bold tipple out of Seattle, Washington balances sweet and savory with cocoa nib, Rainier cherries, locally foraged truffles and a slew of other thoughtfully-sourced botanicals. Herbaceous and lush, we love Amaricano built one to two with a super dry sparkling cider. If you’ve got something from the Basque region kicking around, even better. Garnish with a slice of lemon and a castelvetrano olive and you’ve got yourself a proper drink.

Geijer Spirits California Glogg

Made from raisins, almonds, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and Seville orange, this California spirit with Scandinavian roots is full of rich and robust flavors. Based on his Swedish great-grandmother’s recipe, owner Martin Geijer leans into nostalgia by swapping a spirit base for the traditional wine or beer-based Glogg. Lucky for us, this makes the flavors of liqueur concentrated enough to work exceptionally well with some of our favorite funky pet-nats. Try a hearty splash of California Glogg over ice, and top (carefully! Most natural sparkling wines have a lot of fizz!) with a bubbly, tart, and lively pet-nat. Garnish with grating of fresh cinnamon.

Lyre’s Italian Spritz

From Australia, Lyre’s produces the Italian Spritz which is an entirely alcohol-free spirit that is full of bright orange and rhubarb bitter-sweet goodness. If you are not drinking for whatever reason, we love this with (equal parts all the way across), a no-alcohol sparkling riesling and quality tonic water. Nuance, bitterness, florality, and dry botanicals make this an adult Spritz that is full of complexity. Finish with a basil leaf and a pinch of sea salt.