Wine spritzer is the archetypal summer drink, but spritzer also suffers from a bad reputation.
Championed by Ned Flanders, nerd of The Simpsons, you may think spritzer is a slightly tacky drink, but you should consider revisiting this iconic wine-based cocktail.
Today, we’ll show you how to make this brunch staple using a variety of wines. We’ll also point out some of the best wines for making spritzers if you’re stuck for ideas.
I. Wine Spritzer 101
A wine spritzer is a simple drink made using just three ingredients:
Wine serves as the base for the spritzer and this is the most vital component – more on choosing the best wine for spritzers below.
Using red wine gives your spritzer a deep and rich flavor, while using a white wine or rosé wine will yield a lighter, fruitier cocktail.
Most people make wine spritzers using sparkling water or club soda.
When you make a spritzer using drier wines, though, you could use some lemonade or tonic water instead. These will impart more flavor at the same time as making the spritzer sweeter.
You need plenty of ice to ensure your spritzer is chilled and refreshing, the perfect drink for a summer’s day.
If you plan to make spritzers on the regular, it’s well worth exploring some portable ice makers to give you the most seamless experience, and to save you constantly picking up store-bought ice.
Before we show you how to make three different versions of the traditional wine spritzer, why should you consider drinking this stuff in the first place?
II. What Are The Benefits of Wine Spritzers?
Wine spritzers are the quintessential summer cocktail. Refreshing and fruity at the same time, spritzers pair wonderfully with your favorite BBQ dishes as well as working for both picnics and dinner parties.
Beyond these occasions, spritzer is also a robust accompaniment to brunch. If you have some smoked salmon with eggs and hollandaise sauce, pair this tasty brunch with a dry spritzer made using sparkling water and Riesling – more on that below. For waffles or pancakes smothered in maple syrup, try a sweeter wine spritzer for the perfect pairing.
Perhaps you’re catering a dinner party and you’re looking for cocktail recipes that are not too heavy on the alcohol content. If so, a wine spritzer is ideal for this purpose.
With the seltzer diluting the wine, you’ll find most large white wine spritzers contain 6% to 8% ABV, while a large glass of regular wine is typically 12% ABV.
So, you’ll be getting a thirst-quenching and lip-smacking beverage that’s also pretty low in alcohol content.
All that remains now is to discover how to make this drink at home, and it’s really not that hard!
We’ll show you how to make spritzers using red, white, or rosé wine so there’s something for everyone.
III. How to Make White Wine Spritzer
White wine spritzer is the most popular variant of this summer classic.
Consider using a Riesling or sauvignon blanc, although just about any dry white wine will work.
For anyone looking for a sweeter spritzer, pinot grigio is a great fruity alternative.
Chardonnay, on the other hand, is ineffective for making spritzer. You want your beverage to be sharp and fruity, while also low in tannins.
Making white wine spritzer couldn’t be easier, so here’s what you need and how to do it:
What You Need
- White wine (3oz)
- Sparkling water or seltzer (1oz)
- Frozen fruit
What To Do
- Take a large wine glass and fill it with ice
- Add your wine to the glass
- Top of the glass with some seltzer
- Garnish with some frozen fruit like blueberries and serve
IV. How to Make Red Wine Spritzer
Unlike traditional wine spritzers, sangria is typically served sweeter. Sangria also usually contains some simple syrup or sugar. Occasionally, you also find brandy in sangria. For this recipe, we’ve kept it simple with this low-alcohol twist on sangria.
What You Need
- Spanish red wine (1 bottle)
- Orange (1, sliced)
- Brown sugar (3 tbsp)
- Sparkling water (10oz)
What To Do
- Add the sugar and orange to a large jug then muddle using a wooden spoon
- Pour your red wine over the mixture. Stir so you incorporate the sugar
- Add the ice then top up the jug with some sparkling water
- Stir and serve in tumblers
V. How to Make Rosé Spritzer
If you want the perfect middle ground between a fruity white wine and a heavier red, rosé wines are the obvious solution.
Try this straightforward recipe and rustle up some spritzers with rosé wine for something completely different.
What You Need
- Rosé (125ml)
- Cranberry juice (45ml)
- Soda (30ml)
What To Do
- Before mixing your drink, chill the wine, soda, and juice for 30 minutes
- Add some ice to a highball glass. Pour in the wine, cranberry juice, and soda in the quantities listed above
- Stir with a straw or spoon and serve
VI. What Are The Best Wines for Spritzer?
Now you have a clear understanding of how to make several different types of wine spritzer, we’ll round out with some wine recommendations:
- Pinot Noir
- Sauvignon Blanc
You’ll get a depth and richness of flavor with pinot noir that few other wines can rival. As you would expect, you’ll need to dig a bit deeper for the privilege.
Instead of using a full red, though, you could try something like Albet i Noya Curiosa Rosat. This is a Spanish rosé with an explosion of flavor and fruitiness alongside just a trace of acidity. This wine blends well with either lemon or lime.
The fresh, green flavors of sauvignon blanc makes it a great candidate for your next wine spritzer. The wine has exceptionally aromatic properties that render it great for mixing.
Try a Toscar Airen. This Spanish vintage hails from La Mancha and gives you a light and airy flavor to create a first-class wine spritzer.
Riesling is a light and golden wine that makes for a superb mild spritzer.
This wine is sufficiently sweet to allow you to use just club soda for mixing, but if you opt for soda, you won’t find it overpoweringly sweet.
As you can see, a wine spritzer is a super-simple cocktail that works well in many situations, not only on a hot day in the middle of summer.
Not only is this cocktail remarkably refreshing, but it also comes in at less than 10% ABV, making it a great option for daytime gatherings or parties where you don’t want everyone getting smashed.
As we ease into fall and the festive season, we are gearing up for a busy few months here at Barnacle Bar. Take a moment to bookmark our blog before you go today, and be sure to pop back soon for more great guides and impartial reviews. See you soon!