Normally, this time of the year I would be enjoying the bella vita Italian style by sipping Aperol or Campari spritzes on some piazza, desperately trying to catch some colour on my white legs in the warming spring sunshine. Unfortunately, this spring we aren’t allowed to go as far as the city centre (I can see the Duomo from our terrace… so close yet so far!) or even the nearby piazza. The only way to enjoy these spring drinks is to make them at home. But not to worry, these spritz recipes are simple, and the ingredients should be easy enough to gather from most supermarkets or online groceries.
This is the perfect summer drink if you are trying to get into Campari spritzes but find them too bitter. The strawberry infusion will bring sweetness and it softens the bitterness of Campari, complementing the subtle fruity notes of the rosé. I prefer drier wines and I do love the bitterness of Campari, but if you have a sweet tooth, you could swap the dry wine for a sweeter, fruitier one.
Dry sparkling rosé
Fill a large wine glass with ice and a few slices of lemon and strawberries. Pour in around 50ml of infused Campari (adjust to taste), top up with sparkling rosé and add a splash of soda. Give it a gentle stir (do not stir too much or you will lose the bubbles and the drink will become flat).
*To make the infusion, simply add sliced strawberries into Campari and leave to macerate in the fridge for three days. Give it an occasional stir. Strain and store in the fridge.
Rosemary-Chartreuse Spritz (from the book Bubbly by Colleen Jeffers)
This is a nice herbal alternative to your usual bitter spritz. I substituted Champagne for Prosecco. Whichever you use, make sure it is chilled. You should adjust the measurements based on the size of your glass. In her recipe, Colleen used ice, but I served mine without.
20ml Green Chartreuse
10ml Fresh lime juice
Champagne (around 75–85ml)
Rub the sprig of rosemary around inside the glass. Pour in the Chartreuse, Champagne and lime juice. Gently add in ice and garnish with the rosemary.
Sharing the house with friends or family? Why not create a small-scale aperitivo hour to keep the whole family entertained? See tips here.
MONIN hibiscus is one of my favourite syrups to use in the spring/summertime (check my Tequila Fizz recipe with hibiscus). Zucca Rabarbaro brings in that lovely bitterness that I often expect from my spritzes.
15ml MONIN hibiscus syrup
10ml Zucca Rabarbaro
10ml Dry vermouth
10ml Fresh lemon juice
Shake all but Prosecco and soda in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain over ice-filled glass and top up with Prosecco and a splash of soda water. Garnish with mint.
This spritz is super-fresh with a huge measure of citrus. Last weekend I was obsessing over this recipe – the combination of ingredients makes it so refreshing.
A good measure of Malfy Gin Rosa
Limoncello (for sweetness)
Plenty of fresh lemon juice
You can build this directly in the glass (the lazy-day version) or you can shake all but the Prosecco and strain over ice. Top up with Prosecco and garnish with rosemary. Again, you should adjust the measurements according to your glass size/type and to your taste: more limoncello for a sweeter drink, less lemon juice if you don’t like the zing so much.
Nothing says summer better than Malfy Gin – find more recipes with Malfy here!
The Jetsetter (based on The Bitter Fairy’s mocktail recipe)
As soon as I saw Paula’s recipe, I knew I had to try it. It was as delicious as I expected it to be. If you’re looking for those holiday vibes, this drink is a must!
30ml Grape-Rosemary-Thyme syrup*
30ml Fresh lemon juice
60ml Tonic water
30ml Italian or French sparkling mineral water
20ml Aperol (optional)
Pour all ingredients over ice and top up with tonic and sparkling water. Give it a gentle stir and garnish with a lemon slice and rosemary sprig. This recipe is also very tasty without Aperol.
*To make the syrup:
A mix of fresh rosemary and thyme
200g green grapes, halved
Peel of 4 lemons (just the yellow, avoid the white parts)
1.5 cups of water
1.5 cups sugar
2 tbsp honey
Pinch of salt
Heat grapes, sugar and water in a saucepan and simmer for five minutes. Add herbs and lemon peel, simmer for a minute or two and turn off the heat. Stir in honey and a pinch of sea salt and leave to cool. Strain, pressing on solids. Store in the fridge.
Tea Gin Fizz
I love berry teas. In fact, I drink a cup every morning. They also make a brilliant addition to many cocktails. If you want to give it extra fruitiness, add some fresh berries in with the sugar when making the syrup.
50ml Red berry tea (chilled)
15ml Fresh lemon juice
15ml Sugar syrup (adjust to taste)
First make the tea as you would a normal cuppa. Let it brew for a good few minutes so the flavour will be strong. Let the tea cool down before making the cocktail. You could make a larger batch and keep it in the fridge for further drinks.
Shake tea, lemon, sugar and gin with ice and double strain into a Champagne flute. Top up with Prosecco.
Do you create spritz recipes beyond just Campari or Aperol spritz? What is your go-to quarantine drink at the moment?
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