It's time to toast the wonder of the red wine spritzer.

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One of our favorite ways to start the summer is by deciding what the drink of the season will be (and sharing that recipe with you). But how do you decide on the drink of summer when, unlike years gone by, we are all working from home and aren't in the same test kitchen, mixing up samples of possible drinks for everyone to sample?

glasses of red wine spritzer
Credit: Shira Bocar

As it turns out, it's not that hard when several food editors have each been quaffing the same summery drink at home. Behold the Red Wine Spritzer, easy, refreshing, and "not too boozy or overly sweet," says senior editor Lauryn Tyrell. Editor at large Shira Bocar and associate editor Riley Wofford are also fans of the cocktail, and the three have been comparing ingredients and proportions to come up with this stellar recipe.

So, let's say it here: Summer isn't all about rosé. Much as we love a glass of salmon pink wine, we also like a cocktail every now and then. Then again, summer drinking is not just Frozen Margaritas, though Riley might tell you otherwise. Last year we were gung ho for the Lemon Mezcal Margarita.

Our pick this year is fresher and lighter but still packs a punch. It is, of course, not a new drink, but we do think this is the ultimate version of this elemental libation. Older versions of the spritz called for club soda, but nowadays seltzer is the thing—it's less salty and just better. The type of red wine you use makes a difference, which is why we suggest a lighter red such a pinot noir or grenache rather than a cabernet sauvignon. Then we add a touch of a bitter Italian-style aperitivo, such as the well known Aperol (remember the Aperol Spritz?), or a test kitchen favorite, Forthave Red, and top it off with seltzer. The finishing touch is a wedge of orange (Shira insists on an orange twist).

"The seltzer water makes it super refreshing" says Riley, adding "It makes me feel like I’m on a rooftop with friends when right now I can't be on a rooftop with friends."


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