Is there anything more ubiquitous during summer than the spritz cocktail? Originally enjoyed as an aperitif, the spritz has recently experienced a dramatic rise in popularity initiated by one drink in particular: the Aperol Spritz.
Now one of the most popular drinks on many cocktail lists across the country, the brightly coloured, bittersweet Aperol Spritz began the spritz revolution a couple of years ago, becoming firmly placed as the cocktail of choice throughout the summer months (eclipsing even rosé wine).
A spritz is defined as any wine-based cocktail. However, the popularity of the Aperol Spritz has provided an ample platform for bartenders to think beyond it, challenging the status quo by creating more interesting and less commonplace spritzes using seasonal ingredients and natural, artisanal flavours.
In addition, the rise of a series of trends and changes in consumer behaviours can also be taken into account when looking at the rise of the spritz. Because of a number of factors, including being more health conscious, people are choosing to enjoy drinks with a lower ABV. The spritz is generally a longer drink, meaning that less alcohol is consumed over a greater period of time. Similarly, there is a marked movement towards alternative drinks to the classic spirits and mixer serves; people want to be excited and intrigued in everyday life, and the evolution of British eating and drinking trends reflects this: taking this case in point, the revolution of craft beer and negroni cocktails.
The spritz offers both the benefits of being low alcohol as well as the appeal of being a sophisticated alternative to the norm. In order to move forward, however, spritzes will need to innovate beyond what they currently are by using specialist products: herbal sodas and tonics which pair perfectly with the wines and combine to create the ideal mixture of length, sweetness, dryness and bitterness.
The Summer Spritz menu, available at Hanway Place and Mayfair, features five twists on the classic spritz cocktail, influenced and inspired by Hakkasan’s brand and heritage. Blending spirits such as Da Hong Pao gin – a fragrant and floral tea-based gin made from organic oolong tea grown on the Wuyi Mountain in China – or Ketel One Grapefruit and Rose botanical vodka with a variety of vermouths, liqueurs and tonics, the Summer Spritz menu is theatrical, beautiful, emotive of summer and ultimately refreshing.