Introducing your favourite new drink, perfect for summer bank holidays.
Apparently the Aperol Spritz is dead. We refuse to sanction a full mortarium on our beloved neon punch but – given it’s 2019 – perhaps it’s time to branch out a little and try something new. Something impossibly chic. Something that requires only three ingredients and minimum effort to assemble but is the perfect summer refreshment.
Presenting: the French Spritz.
French, you say? Dreams of elegant Parisian evenings sipping away in crimson lipstick have us already sold. Yet this essential part of French aperitif culture is only just making its way across the Channel. And while you may be acquainted with the familiar Italian Campari and Aperol interpretations of an aperitivo drink, refined French incarnations will utterly win you over.
Although there’s myriad versions of the French spritz (the beauty of spritz is its versatility), our current favourite is the St-Germain Spritz.
St-Germain, for those uninitiated, is a delicious French liqueur, made from elderflowers. Unorthodox, extremely fresh and achingly delicate it’s basically the most fashionable alcoholic drink going.
And to make the St-Germain Spritz is surprisingly simple. If you’re adhering strictly to the rules, you need to combine 60ml champagne with 40ml of St-Germain Liqueur and a further 60ml sparkling water. Suggested garnish? A tasteful lemon twist.
But if you’re on a budget or making a big bank holiday jug (or three), there’s easy swaps to make, starting with the champagne.
Prosecco is the most immediate dupe but there’s plenty of room for experimentation.
“You can spritz your drink with dry white wine, rosé, or any variant of sparkling wine to match the mood, season or food choice,” says author of Drink French Fluently, Camille Vidal.
“It’s preferable to revamp garnishes with the season. Use whatever you might find at the farmers’ market [or you local Sainos, if you’re us] to dress up a batch of spritzes.”
Of course, if you’re London based then there’s the opportunity to try the French Spritz without any effort required – and a stunning city backdrop too boot. Southbank’s OXO tower will be playing host to a St-Germain Summer in Bloom terrace from 21 May to 30 June. On offer is not only the classic St-Germain Spritz but three new twists on the drink.
For everyone else simply looking for a fuss-free, sophisticated new alternative to the (whisper it) overdone Aperol Spritz, here it is. You’re welcome.
St-Germain French Spritz
- 60ml Champagne or prosecco
- 40ml St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
- 60ml sparkling water or soda
- Combine all of the ingredients over ice in a collins glass
- Stir gently to combine and garnish with a lemon twist