Behind the Bar - Amaro Spritz
Most people think of amaro as a digestif, restricted to after-dinner-drink territory and enjoyed only after a long, leisurely meal. But this cocktail is the perfect for unwinding after work (before you’ve willed yourself to even think about what’s for dinner) or sipping on a warm weekend afternoon.
My pal Miles first made this cocktail for me on Oscar night and I loved the combination of effervescent prosecco and bittersweet, super herbal amaro. The version Miles made had a dash of bitters, but for this springtime version, I’ve subbed in a squeeze of lemon juice to give it a bright, fresh twist.
A note on the ingredients: There are dozens of types of amari and they can range in flavor from cirtrusy to almost medicinal. For this cocktail, I’d recommend branching out from Campari and Aperol and trying something like Averna, Luxardo, or Cynar. I used St. Agrestis—a Brooklyn-made amaro I tried at my wine shop a few months ago—but your local liquor store should have a wide range of options as well.
You can use prosecco, champagne, or any sparkling wine as long as it’s nice and dry. Amari are known for being bitter, but they can be also be pretty sweet, so you want a dry wine that will balance that sweetness.
And if you avoid making drinks that call for sparkling wine unless you’re with a group who can finish the bottle, allow me to introduce you to the champagne bottle stopper. It’s a game-changer for those who sometimes like a celebratory glass of champagne to cap off an average Wednesday.
- 1 part amaro (I used St. Agrestis)
- 4 parts prosecco
- 1 part club soda
- Lemon wedge, for garnish
Pour amaro, prosecco, and club soda into a glass over ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge and serve.