It sort of goes without saying that those of us who live in places with questionable winters live for spring, Minnesotans perhaps at the top of the list. Hence, I am a sucker for cocktails that match that mood - specifically the much maligned spritz. Despite all the love/hate for specifically the Aperol Spritz (most notably that *one* NYT article), I think spritzes are a perfect cocktail (sue me!) and honestly, the possibilities in composition are endless. They're fun, effervescent, not overly high proof so you can drink a bunch (preferably outdoors), and delicious. My personal general rule for spritzes is one type of alcohol, one type of aperitif, a whisper of citrus, a little sugar (cocktails gotta have booty!), and some bubble (sparkling wine! la croix! both!). Use what you have at home or buy things that are enjoyable AND versatile - we don't have to make it fancy, it just has to taste good. Here is a springy template for all your future spritzing endeavors!The 'What Have You' Spritz
1 ounce white rum (or gin! or vodka! maybe tequila!)
1 ounce Lillet Blanc (Cocchi Americano! Blanc Vermouth! Aperitif wine!)
.5 ounce strawberry cordial* (or any kind of simple syrup you feel like!)
squeeze of lemon (roughly .25-.5 ounces)
2-3 ounces dry sparkling wine *Strawberry cordial: 1 cup quartered strawberries 1 cup sugar 1 cup water Simmer all ingredients on the stove until the sugar is dissolved and the strawberries begin to break down. Strain and chill. Use in all your favorite summer drinks!
Shake ingredients minus the bubbles on ice (or stir vigorously on ice if you don't have a shaker!) and strain into your fanciest stemware (I'm personally using my mother's wedding crystal because what else is it for anyway!) and top with a generous pour of sparkling wine.
Recipe, words, and photography by Berit Belen Johnson.