A Million-ish Ways to Build a Spritz

Italy is just a sip away.

May 27, 2022
Photo by Ty Mecham. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. Food Stylist: Kate Buckens.

We’ve teamed up with the audio innovators at Sonos to share our recipe for an easy, breezy summer hang—complete with refreshing sips and the perfect soundtrack to set the mood. Their portable, weather-resistant Roam and Move speakers allow the music to go with you, whether you’re enjoying a day at the beach or happy hour-ing in your backyard.

As summer warms, suddenly the whole world becomes your backyard. After a long winter cooped up indoors, seeking solace in hot toddies and heavy whiskey drinks, it’s time to embrace the outdoors—and lighten up your drink of choice as well. Whether it’s hosting festivities in your own backyard, gathering with friends at the local park, or venturing to the beach with your family, the summer affords so many opportunities for sunny activities. And while others may pick up a quick six-pack of beer from the corner store, I like to travel in style and bring the cocktails (and snacks!) with me wherever I go.

Years ago, I traveled to Bari (a coastal city in the boot heel of Italy) with my husband on our honeymoon as a pit stop between Greece and Croatia. We had just checked into our hotel overlooking the Adriatic Sea and were itching for something to do, but it was that uneasy mid-afternoon hour—a little too late for lunch, but too early for dinner. To pass the time, we settled at a tiny table at the hotel bar and ordered ourselves a couple of Aperol spritzes, the perfect Italian happy hour tipple. When the drinks arrived in giant wine glasses, they were things of beauty: effervescent like the tips of the ocean waves, bright orange like the waning sun, and garnished with a giant orange wheel the size of my fist. We clinked, sipped, and easily polished off several more before the sun finally set.

Back home, I often turn to the spritz as my summer drink of choice. These Italian-inspired, wine-based cocktails are delightfully perfect for day-drinking; they’re refreshing yet bracing, incredibly sippable, and just alcoholic enough to keep the festivities going into the night. My technique for optimal at-home spritzing involves a few simple ingredients, plus a durable, portable speaker (like the ones from Sonos) to get the vibes going—here’s my approach.

Photo by Ty Mecham. Propt Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. Food Stylist: Kate Buckens.

The Basic Building Blocks of Spritz

Spritzes are incredibly easy to make because they typically only require three ingredients. The classic formula consists of 3 parts sparkling Prosecco, 2 parts Italian aperitif (like Aperol or Campari), and a splash of soda water. But when I’m making spritzes at home I prefer an even simpler recipe of proportions:

  • Start with equal amounts of any bitter liquor—Pimm’s, Lillet, Averna, the sky’s the limit—sparkling white wine, and club soda over ice.
  • Give it a quick stir and take your first sip.
  • From there, feel free to adjust according to your taste preferences: add a little more Prosecco for extra bubbles, or more club soda to make it less boozy.

From here, the possibilities are endless. I love to spruce up the classic Aperol spritz by subbing in my favorite sparkling natural orange wine in lieu of Prosecco, which adds a new and surprising layer of depth. It becomes the perfect accompaniment for a backyard gathering set to tunes via the portable, weather-resistant Sonos Move—its built-in handle makes it easy to grab if you need to switch up your locale from room to patio to backyard without missing a beat or breaking a sweat.

Photo by Ty Mecham. Propt Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. Food Stylist: Kate Buckens.

A Spritz For Every Occasion

The spritz is a fantastic way to explore countless flavor profiles and combinations. They pair exceptionally well with food, so consider what flavors may best suit your party bites. Throwing a late afternoon soiree? Try stirring together Campari, the aperitif wine Cocchi Americano, and topping with pink grapefruit soda. Garnish with a grapefruit peel, serve with something crunchy and salty, throw on a zippy Sonos Radio station (I like High Dive), and you’re all set for a party that’s sure to last well into the night. Feel free to add a splash of club soda to adjust the sweetness.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“I love the article about the Aperol Spritz cocktails!! Can you please tell me the name of the beautiful glasses you used for the cocktails? Thanks so much! ”
— pandrade1121

Looking for something to wake you up during a brunch hang? Try this coffee-inspired spritz: Averna, coffee soda, and sparkling white wine finished with a squeeze of lemon. It’ll be just the pick me up you need after last night’s spirited dinner festivities.

How to Spritz On the Go

My absolute favorite thing about spritzes is how incredibly easy they are to travel with. Come summer, I always have a picnic bag ready with a blanket, some disposable cups, and my Sonos Roam, an ultra-portable speaker that’s also waterproof and weather-resistant, perfect for wherever I plan to go. Before I head out, I’ll batch my non-bubbly ingredients in a quart container or insulated bottle, and grab a six-pack of club soda or a chilled bottle of Prosecco on the way to a day at the beach. (Don’t forget the ice!)

If you have an at-home carbonator, you have access to a whole new world of spritzing possibilities. Mix fruit juices—I like to use lime or grapefruit—with your liquor of choice, and carbonate away. For me, it’s a particularly good opportunity to use up any leftover juices, alcohol, or sodas that might be languishing in my fridge. You can also explore non-alcoholic options as well; sub in a non-alcoholic aperitif (like Ghia) and mix in some sparkling grape or apple juice for extra flavor. Once you’ve added bubbles to your mixture, screw the cap on your bottle, grab a cooler filled with cheese board fixings, and head to the closest park for an impromptu picnic.

When the days grow long and temperatures rise, spritzes make for easy drinking options—great for daytime refreshment while still feeling special and decadent, especially when imbibed outdoors. They’re the perfect vehicle for cocktail experimentation and exploration, making for endless fun through those long, balmy summer nights.

What’s your fave spritz combo? Tell us in the comments!

Our friends at Sonos help listeners feel more with their immersive, easy-to-use speakers. From the Ray, a sleek new soundbar designed for the ultimate home movie viewing experience, to the Roam, a totally portable, outdoor-friendly option made for music on the go—Sonos has a sound solution for every occasion. To transform your listening experience and find the right speaker for your space, check out the full Sonos lineup here.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Irene Yoo is chef and creator of Yooeating, a Korean American food channel that explores Korean home cooking, street food, and culinary history. She has developed recipes and penned essays for Food52, Food Network, and Bon Appetit, and previously presented about Korean culinary history at The Korea Society and The Museum of Food and Drink.


oneonel June 20, 2022
thanks for this post
Janice P. June 10, 2022
What is THE SPARKLING NATURAL ORANGE wine used to replace Prosecco in spritz in article by Irene Yoo???
Deborah F. June 3, 2022
Just to correct Bari is on the Adriatic not the Mediterranean :>)
Dan May 28, 2022
While you pour something from Italy, you can listen to music on your Sonos speaker. And then as you add sparkling white wine, boy does that Sonos speaker sound good. Top your drink off with soda while you listen to something on your Sonos speaker. Then you can take your Sonos speaker outdoors in the rain. Oops, I forgot to take my drink outside with my Sonos speaker but that's OK because this was really never about a drink anyway, was it.
Deborah S. May 27, 2022
So many sales pitches for Sonos that its hard to tell whether this article is about a drink or a full on commercial for Sonos. I don't want to see any more of this type of content. If these types of ads continue I will unsubscribe.
pandrade1121 May 27, 2022
I love the article about the Aperol Spritz cocktails!! Can you please tell me the name of the beautiful glasses you used for the cocktails? Thanks so much!
robkapp77 May 27, 2022
So many plugs for Sonos I’m now completely turned off of this site. I get that it’s sponsored but come on.