6 summer twists to try on the classic spritz cocktail

It’s time to get a little more creative with your drinks cabinet. An Aperitivo expert tells us how…

Summer is well and truly upon us and that can only mean one thing: every restaurant, club and rooftop bar in the city is serving up extraordinary quantities of a swirling electric-orange potion of Aperol, prosecco and club soda in globe-shaped glasses. And, while we have enormous respect for the Aperol Spritz, we can’t help but feel there might be more to the noble tradition of spritz cocktails than this Italian staple.

With this in mind, we called on Jonathan Benoliel, the Aperitivo expert and General Manager at the all-day cafe and vermouth bar, Vermuteria, to give us his top recommendations and recipes for shaking up your spritz selection this summer.

For a French twist: Noilly Prat Original Dry L’Apéritif

Noilly Prat Original Dry L’Apéritif

Jonathan says:

“As a French ex-pat, it doesn’t get much better than a classic aperitif. For a true taste of Marseillan, try Noilly Prat Original Dry simply over ice with a twist of lemon. The beautifully light and complex flavour works perfectly when paired with oysters. Santé!”

Ingredients

  • 70ml Noilly Prat Original Dry
  • Smashed soda or Blanc de Blancs Champagne (optional)
  • Lemon zest to garnish

Method

  1. Pour the Noilly Prat Original Dry over the ice and stir
  2. Squeeze the lemon zest into the glass to release its essential oils
  3. You can also lengthen the cocktail with smashed soda or Blanc de Blancs Champagne
  4. Garnish with a zest or slice of lemon

For an Aperol alternative: The Venetian Spritz

The Venetian Spritz

Jonathan says:

“Made using the wonderfully intense, ruby red bitter, SELECT – the original bitter aperitivo from Venice; this low ABV Venetian Spritz is garnished with a large green olive to add a savoury and saline finish to the bittersweet flavour profile.”

Ingredients:

  • 90ml Prosecco
  • 60ml SELECT Aperitivo
  • 1 splash Soda water
  • 1 large Green olive to garnish

Method

  1. Pour the Prosecco into a wine glass
  2. Add SELECT Aperitivo and top up with soda water
  3. Garnish with a green olive

For the Negroni lover: The Montenegroni

The Montenegroni

Jonathan says:

“The Montenegroni is the perfect twist on an iconic cocktail – the Negroni, which this year celebrates its 100th year – and brings to life Amaro Montenegro’s rich and versatile flavour, built up of 40 carefully selected botanicals.”

Ingredients

  • 60ml Amaro Montenegro
  • 30ml Sweet vermouth
  • 30ml Gin
  • 2 drops of Angostura bitters

Method

  1. Pour ingredients into a tumbler
  2. Fill with ice and add Angostura bitters
  3. Mix and garnish with an orange twist

For something completely different: Green Tea Punch

Green Tea Punch

Jonathan says:

Classic punches are comprised of five ingredients: spirit, sugar, citrus, spice, and a more substantial portion of a liquid such as tea or wine. The grassy sencha tea reinforces the herbal notes in the 5 Island Rum, while the aromatic mint and nutmeg brighten the earthy mixture.”

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle of Banks 5 Island Blend
  • 375ml Sencha
  • 375ml Mint tea
  • 200ml Lime Juice
  • 200g Demerara Sugar

Method

  1. Brew the tea, then stir in the sugar until it dissolves
  2. Add 4 cups of ice to chill and dilute the mixture, then add lime juice and rum
  3. Chill before service
  4. Add to a punch bowl filled with one large block of ice
  5. Serve in punch cups filled with ice and garnish with grated nutmeg

For something a little stronger: Coal Drops Fashion

Coal Drops Fashion

Jonathan says:

“We use SELECT Aperitivo as the bittering agent in our twist on an Old Fashioned. The rhubarb and juniper bring together the bitter notes necessary to counter balance the richness of Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select. As an alternative to using sugar we have created a honey syrup to add a velvety mouth feel.”  

Ingredients

  • 50ml Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select
  • 25ml SELECT Aperitivo
  • 10ml Honey Syrup (5 parts Acacia honey, 1 part water)
  • Pink grapefruit peel as garnish

Method

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice
  2. Add the Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select and stir
  3. Add the SELECT Aperitivo and honey syrup, stir lightly
  4. Serve over ice in a rocks glass
  5. Garnish with a pink grapefruit twist

For a GJ favourite: Martini Fiero

Martini Fiero

GJ says:

“As long-term fans of the classic vermouth, we were more than a little excited this summer, when Martini launched their new Fiero drink. A perfect Aperol alternative, Martini Fiero is a contemporary take on vermouth that combines citrus, bittersweet orange, crisp white wines and wormwood for bold and zesty flavours that pair perfectly with tonic.”

Ingredients:

  • Martini Fiero 75ml
  • Tonic Water 75ml
  • Ice
  • Blood orange wheel to garnish

Method: 

  1. Pack a balloon glass with ice.
  2. Pour in an equal ratio of Martini Fiero and tonic water.
  3. Stir gently for a few moments.
  4. Garnish with the blood orange wheel.

Looking for more summer drinks inspiration? Here’s why your next bottle of gin should come from the coast…

 

Further Reading