Wine spritzers are nostalgic drinks that hark back to carefree summers past – the key is to strike a balance between sweet, bitter and refreshing
Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand 2019 (£7, Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s) A consequence of the enforced absence of the pub for me has been an occasional craving for a drink I’ve previously only ever ordered in beer gardens on very hot afternoons: a white-wine spritzer. It’s quite hard to get right: pick the wrong wine, and level of dilution, and you won’t be able to get past the theory that the spritzer only really developed as the designated driver’s lower-alcohol allowance. To get to something that might actually be preferable to a straight glass of white, you need a wine with sufficient oiliness of body and amplitude of fruit flavour to thrive at a three-parts wine to one-part fizzy water ratio. The winner in my home experiments is a passionfruit and elderflower-scented New Zealand sauvignon blanc, such as Brancott Estate’s.
Taylor’s Chip Dry White Port, Douro, Portugal NV (£13.99, Waitrose) For me, the best base for a spritzer isn’t dry wine, but a richer, slightly sweeter and stronger fortified white port. Taylor’s makes a good version (although they recommend swapping the spring water for tonic and thinking of the drink as a lighter version of a G&T). The spritzer isn’t the only wine-based mixed drink I’m missing. Since I’m unlikely to go camping in France this summer, I now crave a drink I’d only ever have in a French campsite bar: a kir. For the full experience you really need a bad bottle of cheap, dry, acidic French white wine and a splash of crème de cassis. My own version with Boudier Crème de Cassis de Dijon (£14.95, 50cl, thewhiskyexchange.com) and Tesco Finest Chablis 2018 (£12) was perhaps a little too tasty to be fully authentic.
Long cold drinks for long hot day | David Williams