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 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 (Link)
Elderflower Rose Spritz (Link)
Ginger Julep Spritz (Link)
Original Aperol Spritz (Link)