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3 summery-light spritz cocktails for a most civilized buzz

Nicole A. Taylor currently hosts Hot Grease, a food culture podcast, and is the principal of NAT Media. She is the author of The Upsouth Cookbook (2015). Taylor has contributed to First We Feast, Cherry Bombe, Amtrak, Southern Foodways ...

Sip a low-alcohol spritz cocktail, and comport yourself with dignity

Here's a conversation I keep having:

Me: (after fumbling to locate my cellphone upon hearing a syncopated 1980s R&B star ringtone): "Hello?"

BFF: "Remember that guy from the jazzy day party?"

Me: "Yes, I do."

BFF: "I’m inviting him over before our dinner date. Girl, you know I’m always two sheets to the wind after an alcohol sip."

Me: "I have a solution."

More: How to make an Aperol spritz, the bubbly-light pop song of the summer

A low-alcohol drink with heaping bounce is sweeping the warm-weather months. Wave hello to the Italian-born cocktail — spritz is having a moment in the land of red, white and blue.

New cocktail book Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with Recipes makes me waltz around the room. Part tome and the other half recipes, this book gives you the golden egg to impress your well-traveled guests. The authors lay out the anatomy: bubbles, wine, bitter and flavors.

Finally, a timeless go-to beverage your best girlfriend can handle. Lift your arm, clink the wineglasses, and spread the gospel with these three spritz cocktails.

More: 'Summer Sixteen' strawberry ginger coconut cooler for a hot afternoon

Sip a low-alcohol spritz cocktail, and comport yourself with dignity

White spritz recipe

Glass: wineglass | Garnish: seasonal citrus, herbs or fruit

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces dry white wine
  • 2 ounces soda water
  • 1/2 ounce lemon syrup*

Directions:

  1. Build the ingredients in a wineglass over ice, and add the garnish.

*Combine 1 cup of fresh lemon juice and 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan over very low heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Bottle, and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

More: Ginger lemonade sparklers for when your midsummer night needs pixie dust

Hugo spritz recipe

Glass: wineglass | Garnish: mint sprig and lemon wheel

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 ounce St-Germain
  • Mint sprig
  • 4 ounces prosecco
  • 1 ounce soda water

Directions:

  1. Add the St-Germain and mint sprig to a wineglass. Gently muddle together, and let sit for 3 minutes.
  2. Add ice, the prosecco and the soda water. Stir gently to combine.
  3. Add the garnish.

Americano recipe

Glass: Collins | Garnish: orange half-wheel

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 ounces Campari
  • 1-1/2 ounces sweet vermouth
  • Soda water

Directions:

  1. Pour the Campari and vermouth over ice in a Collins glass.
  2. Top with soda water.
  3. Add the garnish.

Reprinted with permission from Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with Recipes by Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau, copyright © 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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