During the time we were in Innsbruck, Austria, we dined out for every meal, enjoyed Apres ski, and sipped on craft beer, tasty wine and mule cocktails. Every time we were out among the locals, I noticed the Tyrolean waiters and waitresses delivering large glasses of what looked like lemonade to tables of young university students. Though I’m smart enough to know that a table of 20 something’s at a bar on Saturday night are not ordering rounds of lemonade to get their night going.
After further research (i.e. asking the bartender and waiting for wifi to ask my best friend, Google) I learned the fizzy yellow drink is a G’Spritzer. While a regular white wine spritzer has white wine and soda water, the G’Spritzer, as it’s called in Austria, is a sweeter version that substitutes sweet lemonade for soda water. Although there are many variations, the G’Spritzers I saw floating around were with chilled wine and chilled lemonade, no ice.
A very simple, light, and refreshing drink that is best enjoyed during the summer months, the G’Spritzer seemed to be the drink of choice in Innsbruck even in early March and it has become a major part of the Austrian culture. Of course, there are plenty of different versions of the spritzer and in other countries, too — Spritz (Italy), Hugo Spritz (Germany) etc.
I think my Italian friends might be appalled that people are adding lemonade to decent white wine, but the purpose is not at all to water down the wine. Its a drink that can be enjoyed as an aperitif, during a meal, or better yet, sipped throughout the day. The low-alcohol content in the drink means you can have several glasses over a period of time and even stay hydrated while doing so.
The German word “spritzen” means spatter, squirt, spray or sprinkle and some would argue the origin of the drink comes from 19th century Austria in an attempt to create bubbly wine. Though not the most innovative or complex cocktail, the G’Spritzer gets the refreshing, day-drinker stamp of approval and whether you’re into making cocktails or just drinking them, this one requires minimal ingredients and effort!
- Drink with a wine that you enjoy. Even though you are mixing the drink and even watering it down with some bubbles, never resort to using a bad wine. Some of the better wines for white wine spritzers are Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling because they have lots of fruity flavor.
- Don’t take the shortcut and opt for a pre-bottled version. There are many pre-mixed spritzer drinks out there but if you can, always make your own, especially since a spritzer is so easy to DIY.
- Congratulate yourself on your commitment to take care of yourself. Well…sort of. Drinking a spritzer means that you are hydrating while you drink, which also means you are effortlessly preventing the next day hangover.