One of the most refreshing summer drinks is anything made with seltzer. The fizz makes any wine or juice festive and it's a nice departure from the usual cocktails and ades. They're perfect for barbecues or even just enjoying movie night by yourself.
The New York Times Food section on Wednesday gave some good advice regarding making the perfect spritzer. Robert Simonsen wrote about going to and looking towards Northern Italy for inspiration. Generations have made the perfect spritzer. All it takes is three factors : bitter , bubbly and low in alcohol.Sadly , us Yanks made a blander version popular in the States during the Seventies and Eighties.It was known as the white wine spritzer in which any white was combined with seltzer. It wasn't a memorable drink , neither in taste or character. The true Italian spritzers should be more wine than seltzer or soda water. What is used is up to the bartender. Seltzer is the best because there's more of a lightness and fizz. Soda water has a definite mineral taste in it that can detracts from the flavors of the other ingredients One of the best spritzes is the Aperol, composed of the bitter orange liqueur, prosecco, the Italian sparkling wine, and seltzer.Another refreshing combo is a mix of California Chardonnay with Bruto Americano, a liqueur with such diverse ingredients as coffee bark, bitter Seville oranges and balsam fir, Pink grape juice give it a blush color in this spritz called Cali Spritz, created by Jon Santer, owner of the Emeryville California bar Prizefighter.
Seltzer can also liven up the non alcoholic as well. These are called sparklers and can be made with a variety of juices. You can use store bought fruit juices or crushed fruit. For the first try to get the purest and the most natural. The Simply Juice company sells juices as if they've just come from the juicer itself. Try their lemon or limeade for a truly refreshing thirst quencher. The two can be combine and mixed with seltzer for a tart drink, perfect for those holiday barbecues.Their orange juice is another one that can be mixed with any fizzy seltzer for a drink that can be sipped all day long. In fact it make for a perfect virgin or clean mimosa for any brunch.Cranberry fans could make a clean Cape Codder spiking up the juice with seltzer. As for fresh juices you can use a juicer. The drinks will have a different, more fresher taste. Home mixologists can also use fruit simple syrups, a variation of the classic bar staple. Basically it's a cup of sugar and water mixed with one and a half cups of fruit.They're boiled together and then strained through a fine mesh strainer. Any fruit can be used. Think tart for some flavor contrast. Take advantage of the blackberry and raspberry season right now. They not only make for flavor packed drinks but also for pretty ones too. The cooked berries tint the seltzer lovely shades of pink.
It's summer, the perfect time for both spritzers and sparklers. Open a few bottles of seltzer and create a cool and bubbly thirst quencher,excellent for a hot summer's night. Sit back, look at the stars and sip.