Strawberry Rosé Spritzer Recipe

There's nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than a crisp and cool wine spritzer. This enticing beverage, brimming with the vibrancy of fresh strawberries, the tanginess of lemon juice, the bitterness of Campari, the subtlety of rosé wine, and the effervescence of soda water, is the spirit of the season captured in a glass. With this strawberry rosé wine spritzer, recipe developer Taylor Murray masterfully curates an alluring journey for your palate that is as refreshing as a balmy summer breeze.

What makes this spritzer a perfect summer drink is the way it leverages the season's ripe strawberries, transforming them into a succulent, sweet base that is counterbalanced beautifully by the sharpness of the lemon juice and the bitter-sweet nuance of Campari. The rosé wine adds a subtle depth of flavor, while the soda water provides a lively fizz that lifts the drink, making it light and invigorating.

Gather the strawberry rosé spritzer ingredients

A well-crafted cocktail offers a symphony of flavors where each ingredient plays a pivotal role. In this drink, the elements come together to create a drink that's refreshing, nuanced, and perfect for summer. The star of our cocktail, fresh strawberries, provides a natural sweetness and beautiful color to the spritzer. The best strawberries can be sourced from your local farmers' market during the summer season. They lend a rich, fruity base to the drink, setting the stage for the other ingredients. The citrus element cuts through the sweetness of the strawberries and brings balance. Lemons can be bought year-round at any grocery store. Their tangy freshness heightens the overall flavor profile of the cocktail.

Campari is an Italian aperitif known for its bitter-sweet character and vibrant red color. It is most often used in negronis and can be found in most liquor stores. A touch of Campari adds an interesting bitter edge to the drink that further counterbalances the sweetness of the strawberries and adds complexity.

Opt for a dry rosé wine to complement the natural sweetness of strawberries and the bitterness of Campari. Wines from Provence or the Loire Valley are renowned for their crisp, refreshing rosé wines, but a dry rosé from any region will do. The rosé gives body to the drink and brings a subtle wine character that's very pleasing on the palate. Finally, the soda water makes the spritzer delightfully light and refreshing. It stretches the flavors and brings a delightful fizz to the finish of the drink.

Muddle the strawberries

The first step in making the cocktail is muddling the strawberries. Muddling involves pressing ingredients against the side of the glass using a muddler — a bartender's tool that looks a bit like a miniature baseball bat or masher. The aim is to crush the ingredient to release its flavors, not to completely pulverize it. When it comes to strawberries, muddling helps to extract the sweet, aromatic juices from the fruit, and also breaks down the color-rich skins, infusing the cocktail with a beautiful, vibrant hue. The strawberry flavor becomes the base of the cocktail, which other ingredients will build upon.

"By muddling the strawberries for this spritzer, you're setting the stage for a cocktail with a strong, sweet, fruit-forward base. It's the first step to creating a layered, complex, and utterly refreshing summer drink," says Murray. This is also a good time to slice some strawberries for your final garnish.

Add lemon juice

After muddling the strawberries, the next step in crafting this recipe is to add the lemon juice. The addition of lemon juice plays a crucial role in this cocktail creation, working on multiple levels. It not only offers a contrast to the sweetness of the strawberries but also enhances their flavor, making them taste even more vibrant and refreshing. This tangy citrus component acts as a perfect counterpoint, bringing a much-needed balance to the cocktail.

This step, although simple, is pivotal to crafting a well-rounded, vibrant, and enjoyable wine spritzer.

Top with Campari

Once the strawberries have been muddled and the lemon juice added, the next step is to introduce the Campari to the mix. Campari is known for its characteristic bitter flavor profile and vivid red color. The measure of Campari in this recipe is a careful balance: at half an ounce per glass, it provides a hint of bitterness that adds complexity and depth to the drink, without overwhelming the palate. While a well-made cocktail is all about the harmony of flavors, Campari's distinct bitterness could easily dominate if used in excess, especially in a delicate spritzer such as this one.

Adding too much Campari could overshadow the sweetness of the strawberries, the acidity of the lemon, and the subtlety of the rosé wine. The half-ounce serves to underline the other flavors rather than overriding them. This precise quantity ensures that the Campari plays its role as a balancing agent, giving the drink an intriguing bitter edge, while still letting the other ingredients shine.

Add the wine

Add ice to each glass, then divide the wine between each glass. This is the step that starts to bring this delightful drink to its final form. The ice plays a couple of critical roles in the cocktail. Firstly, it chills the drink, making it refreshingly cool — an important feature of any summer cocktail. It is recommended to use fresh ice to ensure the cocktail stays cold for longer. The ice also dilutes the cocktail just slightly, helping to blend and mellow the flavors, which can be particularly beneficial in a cocktail with such diverse elements.

Then comes the rosé wine, the key player that provides a delicate depth and body to the drink. By dividing the wine equally between the glasses, you ensure that each cocktail receives the same amount of wine and, therefore, the same depth of flavor. Pouring the wine over the ice allows it to cool down rapidly, while also combining it with the strawberry-lemon-Campari mixture.

Top with soda and garnish

Once the wine has been poured over the muddled strawberry mixture and ice, the final step in creating the spritzer is to top each glass with soda water and garnish with a sliced strawberry. Garnishing the spritzer with a sliced strawberry adds the final aesthetic touch to the drink. It not only makes the drink visually appealing, adding to the overall enjoyment of the cocktail, but also signifies the main flavor element of the spritzer. It's a visual cue, signaling to the drinker what they can anticipate in terms of flavor — in this case, the enticing sweetness of ripe strawberries. Overall, topping the cocktail with soda water and adding the strawberry garnish is about adding the finishing touches — it's where the cocktail gets its lively sparkle and a beautiful aesthetic, culminating in a drink that's as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate.

This icy drink is meant to be consumed immediately. The cocktail's bright acidity and effervescence make it a delightful accompaniment to a cheese and charcuterie board, where it can cut through the richness of soft cheeses like Brie, Camembert, or creamy goat cheese, and complement the savory taste of cured meats. It's also a natural match for grilled seafood — its light, fruity notes harmonize wonderfully with the briny flavors of grilled fish, shrimp, or scallops. For a lighter option, a fresh summer salad with mixed greens, goat cheese, and perhaps some grilled chicken or shrimp offers a fantastic pairing. The acidity in the spritzer balances out the richness of the cheese and meat, while its fresh strawberry flavor enhances the freshness of the salad.

Strawberry Rosé Spritzer Recipe
5 from 40 ratings
This strawberry rosé wine spritzer offers an alluring summertime journey for your palate that is as refreshing as a balmy summer breeze.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
0
minutes
Servings
2
Servings
Cold glass of wine spritzer
Total time: 5 minutes
Ingredients
  • 4 strawberries, hulled, plus more for garnish
  • 2 lemon wedges
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 1 cup rosé wine
  • 1 cup soda water
Directions
  1. Slice the strawberries and divide between each glass.
  2. Lightly muddle the strawberries, trying to extract as much juice from the strawberries as possible.
  3. Squeeze one lemon wedge into each glass.
  4. Add ½ ounce of Campari to each glass, along with some ice.
  5. Divide the wine between each glass, then fill to the top with soda water.
  6. Garnish with additional strawberries, if desired.
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