"Are spritzers and wine coolers the same thing?" This question was posed by an intern recently.
And no, they're not. A spritzer is a tall, chilled drink, usually made with white wine and seltzer or club soda. A wine cooler is some often saccharine bottled mixture of wine and fruit juice. Sometimes soda water makes an appearance in the latter, sometimes not. And that's the key to a good spritzer, which we will drink, as opposed to wine coolers, which we won't and haven't since well, a long time ago: the fizz. It's what makes the drink so refreshing. Here are three recipes for spritzers that go great with the smoky char of cookout food. And they're all pink because, well, why not?
1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 750-ml bottle rosé wine
2 cups soda water
1/3 cup Aperol
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Combine strawberries and wine in a large pitcher; cover and chill for 3 hours to infuse wine. Strain wine into a large bowl, reserving some strawberries for garnish. Return wine to pitcher. Stir in soda water, Aperol, and lemon juice. Divide among ice-filled glasses; garnish each with a lemon twist and a few reserved strawberries.