Just a Spritz: 57 Simple Sparkling Sips with Low to No Alcohol

Danielle Centoni. Artisan, $16.95 (176p) ISBN 978-1-57965-997-4

“The most refreshing, laid-back, intrinsically forgiving, and nearly effortless low-alcohol drink in the cocktail kingdom” gets an exuberant celebration in this collection from James Beard Award–winning food writer Centoni (Portland Cooks). A pre-dinner aperitivo that’s transcended Italian borders, spritzes, Centoni writes, offer a refreshingly fizzy lift free of “regrets the next morning” and a “liquor store’s worth of bottles.” Following a fascinating jaunt through the history of the bubbly beverage (which was created in the 1800s by Austrian soldiers stationed in Italy to stomach the local wine), she shows readers how to “attain spritz perfection” via bubbly prose and a mouthwatering array of sparkling no- or low-alcohol concotions, grouped by flavor profile (fruity, flowery, bitter). While innovative creations abound—the lavender-peach infused “Sun Day” is not to be missed—classics get their due in a “spritzified” negroni that swaps out gin for prosecco and a white wine spritz that modernizes the throwback 1980s sipper by going heavy on the aromatics. To get in a different spirit, tempting holiday drinks include a caramel apple spritz, and a “wintry sipper” gussied up with fig jam. Throughout, Centoni treats readers to a number of handy tips for elevating their offerings with a tasty array of garnishes, syrups, and shrubs. The result deliciously proves that a little goes a long way. (May)
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