Step aside, rosé. A more refreshing drink is here, in a bubbling array of colors and flavors. The iconic Italian export, the Aperol spritz, with its classic (and simple) makeup of fizzy prosecco, sparkling water, and a splash of the bittersweet, citrus-flavored liqueur, is just the beginning. In Just a Spritz, author Danielle Centoni shares an inspired world of spritz variations. Add in sweet liqueurs and bitter amari, fresh juices, flavored kombuchas, and drinking vinegars to update the sparkling spritz. A spritz is quick to assemble and does not require a stocked pantry—its beauty is in its simplicity. Here there are more than 50 recipes (and numerous variations) organized by flavor profile and theme, including the Raspberry Beret, the Margarita Spritz, and the Cucumberbatch, as well as nonalcoholic spritz drinks. For a spritz newbie, a classic Negroni Sbagliato may be just the thing, whereas the social media savant may find the fruity-floral, scarlet-purple, picture-perfect Lady Lavender calling their name. Whatever the craving—from a sweet peach and honeyed spritz to a slightly bitter and citrusy Cappelletti Shandy—there’s a recipe to satisfy every thirst, along with colorful photos to inspire.
About the Author
Danielle Centoni is a James Beard Award–winning food writer and cookbook author based in Portland, Oregon. In her two-decade career, she has worked as a staff editor and writer for the Oakland Tribune, the Oregonian, Imbibe magazine, Mix magazine, and Eater Portland. She is the author of several books, including Portland Cooks (Figure 1, 2017) and Fried Rice (Sasquatch, 2019), and has contributed to many others. You can find her work in a wide range of publications and media, including Better Homes & Gardens, EatingWell, and The Kitchn.
“If you’re a recent convert to the spritz revival that has overtaken the world but aren’t sure which fizzy goblet is for you, Centoni has the answer. This beautifully photographed book offers light-bodied drinks for every palate and occasion.” —Robert Simonson, cocktail writer for the New York Times and author of The Old-Fashioned, 3-Ingredient Cocktails, and A Proper Drink
“This is a wonderful book of innovative and delicious recipes. Centoni’s unique touch comes through in each fabulous element of these marvelous, low- or no-alcohol aperitifs, from ingredients to garnishes.” —Nick Mautone, author of Summer Cocktails
“James Beard Award–winner Centoni looks to give the spritz pride of place in readers’ home bars with this fun, comprehensive, approachable drinks guide. She introduces basic spritz ingredients and easy-to-make simple syrups and shrubs and then sets up home mixologists to create their own spritz. Recipes are grouped by flavor (floral, fruit, bitter), so it is easy to select the right cocktail for a given taste, season, or ingredient. There is no need to spend a fortune at the liquor store, because the basics of the spritz remain the same and leave plenty of room for experimentation. The spritz isn’t just for summer either—it delivers a wealth of flavors that make it a good year-round cocktail; and as a naturally low-alcohol drink, the spritz is a popular option for entertaining and day-time affairs—move over, punch bowl! Making this guide even more versatile, many of its recipes include non-alcoholic substitutions (fitting current trends in N/A spirits and dry Januaries). VERDICT With summer around the corner, Centoni has written the perfect cocktail guide for warm-weather entertaining and enjoying afternoon drinks.” —Library Journal
“‘The most refreshing, laid-back, intrinsically forgiving, and nearly effortless low-alcohol drink in the cocktail kingdom’ gets an exuberant celebration in this collection from James Beard Award–winning food writer Centoni (Portland Cooks). A pre-dinner aperitivo that’s transcended Italian borders, spritzes, Centoni writes, offer a refreshingly fizzy lift free of ‘regrets the next morning’ and a ‘liquor store’s worth of bottles.’ Following a fascinating jaunt through the history of the bubbly beverage (which was created in the 1800s by Austrian soldiers stationed in Italy to stomach the local wine), she shows readers how to ‘attain spritz perfection’ via bubbly prose and a mouthwatering array of sparkling no- or low-alcohol concotions, grouped by flavor profile (fruity, flowery, bitter). While innovative creations abound—the lavender-peach infused ‘Sun Day’ is not to be missed—classics get their due in a ‘spritzified’ negroni that swaps out gin for prosecco and a white wine spritz that modernizes the throwback 1980s sipper by going heavy on the aromatics. To get in a different spirit, tempting holiday drinks include a caramel apple spritz, and a ‘wintry sipper’ gussied up with fig jam. Throughout, Centoni treats readers to a number of handy tips for elevating their offerings with a tasty array of garnishes, syrups, and shrubs. The result deliciously proves that a little goes a long way.” —Publishers Weekly