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A spritzer is a mixed drink which includes carbonated water or soda to make the drink light and fizzy. Traditionally, spritzers include wine, although nonalcoholic versions are also available, and some people make more complex spritzers with wine and juice or other ingredients. These drinks are very popular in the summer months, when they are cool, refreshing, and pleasant on hot days. They are extremely easy to make, and some companies also commercially produce packaged spritzers which are available in various markets.
The word is derived from the German spritzen, which means “to spray.” Generally, a spritzer is served as soon as it is made, so that the carbonated water is still fresh and bubbly. The fizziness is reminiscent of champagne, without the expense of true champagne. It can also be dangerous, as the alcohol content is disguised, and it is therefore easy to overindulge on spritzers, especially when they integrate juice, which further cuts the alcohol.
A classic spritzer is made with white wine and carbonated water, and it may be served with a wedge of lemon. Some people like to use other fruits as garnishes. Rosés also make excellent spritzers because they have a light, fresh flavor. While red wines can be used, they can be a bit heavy. Some bartenders also like to mix in juices like peach, cranberry, or apple, and it is also possible to use ciders like apple cider in a spritzer. A nonalcoholic spritzer uses juice and carbonated water.
If you plan on serving spritzers at a large event, you should be able to obtain a keg of carbonated water which will make it easy to dispense these drinks. You can use any white wine varietal, although you may not want to use a very expensive wine, as the carbonated water dilutes the flavor of fine wines. Dry or sweet wines can be used, depending on personal taste; you can pair tart ingredients like lemons with sweet wines, while sweeter garnishes such as mint can be excellent with dry wines. Try to make each spritzer as it is requested to ensure maximum carbonation.
As a host, you may also want to keep an eye on alcohol consumption, and it is an excellent idea to make fun nonalcoholic drinks readily available. Snacks can also help to mitigate the effects of alcohol consumption. If someone appears to have overindulged a bit, make sure that they drink plenty of water, which can help cut a headache in the morning.
For many years I thought that spritzer was only drank in my country. I am now surprised to find out that even in France, where pouring water in wine is considered a sacrilege, they started to accept "rose pression" or "blanc pression".