Share |

Sophisticated Summertime Spritzs

Summer has settled in here in Sonoma County. The long, hot days are filled with everything from picnics and hikes to cooling off in the refreshing waters of the Russian River or a swimming pool. The warm evenings as the sun sets are perfect for grilling dinner and enjoying some time outside. It's also the perfect time to sit back with a cocktail and unwind while watching the sky go through its dramatic color change.

Seasonally themed cocktails are an excellent route to take, but you should be careful. A lot of them can be overly sweet and a little too boozy. The perfect answer to that is to make a Spritz instead. What makes the Spritz an excellent choice? Well, for starters they're low in alcohol, extremely versatile and refreshing. Plus, we here at Oliver's Market have a secret weapon for you to make your Spritz even more sophisticated -- fruit drinks from Belvoir Fruit Farms! Read on for a little history of the Spritz and some sophisticated Spritz cocktail recipes, including the original Spritz itself.

The Spritz

The Spritz is a wine-based cocktail that is extremely popular as an aperitif in Northeast Italy. It is typically made with Prosecco, a bitter liqueur (such as Aperol or Campari), and sparkling mineral water, served over ice. Like many other cocktails, the origins of the Spritz are a little hazy, but it is commonly thought that the Spritz originated in the late 1800's during the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Venice. The story goes that the local wines were too much to handle for the soldiers, so they asked for a "spritzen" of water to dilute it down. Over time the still water was replaced with carbonated water and various liqueurs were added to boost the flavor. Today it is one of Italy's most popular cocktails.

Belvoir Fruit Farms

Belvoir Fruit Farms has been making fruit cordials and pressés deep in the English countryside in the Belvoir Valley at the Belvoir Castle estate since 1984. Belvoir is renowned for their elderflower drinks and they continue to use the original recipe that was developed back in 1984. Originally, all of the elderflowers were picked by hand from bushes growing around the estate garden. Today, demand for Belvoir is so great that they call on the local community to help harvest flowers from their own 90 acres of orchards as well as hedgerows in the surrounding countryside. Belvoir now produces over 40 different products. Here at Oliver's Markets you will find Elderflower Lemonade (a blend of fresh elderflowers, fresh lemon juice and spring water), Elderflower Rose Lemonade (a blend of fresh elderflowers, fresh lemon juice and rose petal extract) and Ginger Beer.       

Here are four recipes for a sophisticated summer Spritz:

The Hummingbird Spritz

Makes 1 cocktail

 

Ingredients

2 ounces dry Sparkling wine

2 ounces Belvoir Elderflower Lemonade

2 ounces club soda

Lemon twist (for garnish)

Ice

 

Directions

In a Collins glass filled with ice, pour in Elderflower Lemonade, club soda and Sparkling wine. Garnish with a twist of lemon.

 

Elderflower Rose Spritz

Makes 1 cocktail

Ingredients

1 part Gin

2 parts Prosecco

3 parts Belvoir Elderflower Rose Lemonade

Cucumber slice (for garnish)

Ice

 

Directions

In a Collins glass filled with ice, pour in Gin, Elderflower Rose Lemonade and Prosecco. Garnish with a slice of cucumber.

 

Ginger Julep Spritz

Makes 1 cocktail

 

Ingredients

6 ounces Belvoir Ginger Beer

2 ounces bourbon

1 ounce club soda

8 mint leaves

Ice

 

Directions

Muddle the ginger beer, bourbon, club soda and 3 mint leaves in a Collins glass. Fill the glass with crushed ice, give it a quick stir and garnish with remaining mint leaves.

 

Original Aperol Spritz

Makes 1 cocktail

 

Ingredients

3 parts Prosecco

2 parts Aperol

1 part club soda

Orange slice (for garnish)

Ice

 

Directions

Fill a tumbler or large wine glass with ice. Pour in Prosecco, Aperol and club soda. Garnish with orange slice. 

 

About the Author: Matt Rice

Matt Rice

Matt Rice is Oliver's intrepid blogger on all topics related to wine, beer, cider, spirits, and other gourmet products.

 


Where "Local" Means Sonoma County

To us Local means Sonoma County -- period. Not Marin, not Napa, and definitely not the state of California, as some of our competitors define it.

From the day we opened our doors in 1988, we’ve built our business on the simple premise that the best food and wine in the world are produced here, in Sonoma County. We didn’t feel like we were pioneers at the time, but as people have come to understand and embrace the value of locally grown and made food and the value of shopping locally, we realize we were part of the early days of the movement.

As a Sonoma County business, we’ve built enduring relationships with local growers, makers, and manufacturers, because they make the foods and wines we love. Many of them were getting started when we were. Now they are nationally known, but for us, they are still old friends who often delivered products to our Cotati store in their cars back in the late 1980s.

Along with local products being excellent choices for taste and quality reasons, buying locally also improves our local economy. The dollars you spend at local retailers buying local products support other local businesses and our tax base, too!

Tasting Notes

Matt Rice

Sophisticated Summertime Spritzs

The Spritz is a wine-based cocktail that is extremely popular as an aperitif in Northeast Italy. It is typically made with Prosecco, a bitter liqueur (such as Aperol or Campari), and sparkling mineral water, served over ice.

Read More…

Let’s Hear it for Dad!

This Sunday is Father's Day, a day to celebrate and honor dear old Dad. That means it's time to pick out a gift to show him how much you appreciate all that he has done for you throughout your life. Here at Oliver's Market, we have the perfect gift for him, and any other father figure in your life - American Whiskey!

Read More…

Sensational Stone Fruits are Here!

This week we're offering Fitzgerald Kelly peaches and nectarines. Fitzgerald Kelly is a sustainable peach and nectarine grower from Kingsburg, which is just south of Fresno. His fruit is lovingly farmed through the growing season, and then hand-picked and hand-packaged at the peak of ripeness, resulting in outstanding quality season after season. 

Read More…