Wine spritzers are lovely little wine-based drinks that feature a splash of sweet soda and taste summery fresh. Wine spritzers were undoubtedly the inspiration for the wine coolers of the late 80s and early 90s. While not a novel concept, they are enjoyed in many wine-producing regions under different names. In Germany, for example, this cocktail is dubbed "süssgespritzter", referring to wine or cider mixed with lemonade or a citrus-inspired soda. On the canals of Venice, Italians enjoy a spritz Veneziano (or, simply, "spreetz"), a refreshing combination of sparkling wine, Aperol (an Italian orange liqueur), and soda water. The French 75, created in France around World War I, mixes champagne with gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice.
A wine spritzer is perfect when you have a bottle of white, red, or rosé wine on hand and the temperature outside is balmy. The ice and soda turn what could be too heavy a drink for summer into a refreshing cocktail that is not only cooling but also lower in alcohol strength—not a bad idea when the heat is on. Turn it up a notch and add some fresh seasonal fruit to your glass.
- 4 ounces ice
- 3 ounces wine (white, red, or rose)
- 3 ounces soda (citrus flavors are great)
- Optional: seasonal fruit
Fill an 8-ounce tumbler halfway with ice. Add the wine and soda.
Toss in slices of your favorite fruit, if desired. Stir and enjoy.
Best Wine for Wine Spritzers
When choosing a wine to make wine spritzers, the most important characteristic is that you enjoy drinking it on its own; if you would not pour a glass to sip at cocktail hour or with dinner, then don't use it in this recipe (in fact, you probably shouldn't use it in anything where you will taste the wine); bad or unpleasant tasting wine won't get any better when mixed with soda and ice. But if you are selecting a bottle just for the purpose of making a spritzer, reach for something that has good fruity flavor and mild tannins; Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Pinot Noir are all great choices.
Other Wine-Based Cocktails
If you find yourself with a few bottles of wine but are looking for more interesting ways to serve and drink them, there are many refreshing recipes that combine vino with other ingredients to make party-worthy cocktails. There is sangria, of course, which can take on a variety of flavors depending on the type of fruit you add. A strawberry-lime sangria is ideal for summer, with a blend of rose, lemon-lime soda, fresh strawberries and mint, while citrus sangria brings together grapefruit, orange, lemon, and lime for a refreshing cocktail on a warm day.