Summer is almost here, and there’s a major beef brewing about the best cool-you-off drinks for the hot days and nights ahead.
The gauntlet was laid down by the New York Times this May, in an article entitled “The Aperol Spritz Is Not a Good Drink” and that opened with the harsh commentary, “The popular, Instagram-friendly apéritif drinks like a Capri Sun after soccer practice on a hot day. Not in a good way.” Ouch.
For those of you not familiar with the Spritz, as it’s nicknamed, it’s become the trendy adult cooler in recent years. Aperol is an Italian aperitif that’s a luminous shade of orange: it’s made with bitter oranges, rhubarb, herbs, and more, which yields a liquid that’s sweeter and less potent in terms of alcohol content than its first cousin, Campari. The Spritz mixes Prosecco (sparkling wine), Aperol, and a splash of seltzer, poured over ice garnished with an orange slice. It’s refreshing, fruity, and doesn’t pack too strong a wallop. What’s not to love? According to the newspaper article skewering the cocktail, it’s too often made with inferior sparkling wine, creating a drink that can be sickly sweet.
Defending a Hot Summer Drink
As social media heated up with people who were scandalized by the takedown of their fave cocktail, the popular website Grub Street chimed in with an article titled, “Entire Internet Agrees Aperol Spritz Is, in Fact, Good” and collected a bunch of hilarious social media posts echoing that viewpoint. The writer concluded, “it’s a perfectly fine drink, it’s easy going, and it won’t get you hammered midday like a gin and tonic.”
There are some serious Spritz fans at NextTribe HQ, but the point of all of this is to say, If you don’t know the drink, maybe you want to try it. And if not, then raise a glass to the start of summer with whatever makes you happy: Sangria, seltzer, iced green tea. Memorial Day is fast approaching, and we offer up a big cheers to you and the season ahead!