How to Make a Wine Spritzer With Any Wine From Pinot Grigio to Rosé
This article is a part of Wine Week—seven days celebrating all things wine—presented in partnership by our friends at Bread & Butter Wines.
A wine spritzer is a state of mind: a cool breeze on a summer’s day; the sun gently warming your beach chair; a beautiful sunset on an evening hike. That is to say, much like making summer memories, spritzers look a little different for each imbiber. On top of being easy to drink (thanks to the low ABV), they’re also easily customizable. So we’ve created an easy guide to creating the perfect wine spritzer to suit your every summer sipping need.
We’ll be using a ratio of 1 part wine, 1 part flavorings, and 2 parts bubbles, but feel free to play around with these ratios—there is no hard-and-fast rule, and some flavorings would be overpowering in equal parts to the wine (like bitters or aperitifs).
1. Choose a wine base
To get started building your spritzer, you’ll need to choose the wine you want, which will help inform your other choices, like what kinds of flavorings and garnishes you’ll use. Below are four, summer-friendly types of wine that work well chilled (a spritz should always be on ice) and have refreshing flavors to build on.
The crisp notes of pinot grigio are an ideal complement to a spritzer with a lot of flavors. Pick a wine in this vein if you’re looking to experiment with your additions, or want to lean on fresh herbs to elevate your beverage.
For a summer evening, a buttery chardonnay creates a luxe, yet light mouthfeel that will pair nicely with a bright citrus juice or aromatic bitters—something that cuts through the richness.
The summer wine of choice for many, there’s a good chance you’ll have a bottle of rosé stocked in your fridge, which makes it an easy choice. Using a rosé for your spritzer will bring loads of gorgeous color and also a touch of sweetness.
Medium-bodied and typically quite dry, most sauvignon blancs shine when chilled, which make them an ideal wine for a spritzer. Less sweet than some of the other wines, this base is perfect for someone who enjoys a dryer beverage.
2. Pick your flavoring or aperitif
From floral and fruity to fresh and juicy, there are loads of options to choose from for your flavoring component, whether pre-bottled or homemade.
To give your spritzer an extra hint of sweetness, a little teaspoon of simple syrup will go a long way. Bonus points if you flavor it.
Freshly Squeezed Juices
Lean into summer favorites here, like grapefruit, strawberry, or even watermelon. Or, keep it classic with zesty lemon—a juice that will meld well with pretty much any wine.
Aperitifs & Bitters
For more of an Aperol spritz vibe, a few dashes of bitters or a tablespoon or two of an aperitif (like a dry vermouth or Campari) will help marry the pairing of your wine base and the finishing bubbles. I suggest using an all-purpose aromatic bitter, like Angostura, but for something more specific, try a single-note bitter (think: orange or grapefruit) and then pair your finishing garnishes to match.
3. Add some bubbles
A spritzer wouldn’t spritzer without sparkling bubbles gently kissing your nose upon each sip. To finish, top with chilled tonic water or seltzer for carbonated levity. If you’re batching for a crowd, have the wine and mixers ready to go, and finish each guest’s drink with fresh, cold bubbles just before serving. If you so choose, this is a lovely opportunity to imbue one more layer of flavor with a citrusy or fruity seltzer.
4. Don’t forget to garnish
A garnish ties your whole beverage together. Traditionally, garnishes are used to denote flavor profiles of whatever is being consumed, but here they can be used to complement, decorate, or just add a little snack-in-the-glass moment. Half moons of fresh citrus, some seasonal berries, fresh stalks of herbs (thyme and rosemary are examples of hearty herbs that won’t wilt from the moisture or heat), or even a few briny olives are all great options to make your spritzer extra festive. Don’t be afraid to mix and match these—like using both thyme and lemon slices in a chardonnay-based spritzer, or orange and green olives in a pinot grigio spritzer.
What’s your favorite wine spritzer combination? Tell us in the comments!