There’s never a dull, or flat, moment with a glistening spritz by your side. Fix up a combination of liqueur or apéritif and a squeeze of citrus, bubble it up with sparkling wine or soda, and voilà—a bright, handsome beverage that gracefully suits any sunny afternoon or swanky evening affair. Europeans have enjoyed this versatile, liqueur-driven style of drinking for some time now, as it fits their free-flowing social hours like a gleaming glove. But such laid-back charm has a way of catching on, and with more and more bitter and botanical options available worldwide, the spritz’s cultural presence is steadily fizzing up to the point of overflowing.
One major, recent contributor that sprouted in 2007 to great barroom fanfare is an elderflower liqueur from the south of France called St~Germain. Each bottle stands tall in evocative, art deco fashion and is packed with up to 1,000 freshly picked blossoms for a delicate floral flavor with whispers of tropical fruits, peach, pear, citrus, honeysuckle, and vanilla. Cocktail makers and enthusiasts quickly recognized St~Germain’s value as an ingredient that could bring out the best of any spirit with which it was paired. With a taste that distinctive, though, the spotlight can never be too far behind.
That’s precisely why we’ve slated St~Germain as our star, with sparkling wine in a supporting role, for an idyllic June of Puttin’ on the Spritz at home. In late spring the annual harvest is just beginning in the French Alps, but meanwhile over in the urban foothills of our kitchen facility, we’ll be finalizing a box that’ll bring the brilliant summertime inspirations of our bartenders to the undeniable elegance of elderflowers. With bubbles, of course! Subscribe now through June 12 to get yours—it’ll begin to ship the week of June 15 (with a second wave of shipping the week of June 22nd, owing to the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic).
Scott LoBianco’s irresistible Myrtille Spritz arrives just as elderflowers have reached full bloom and blueberries are at peak ripeness—something he knows well from his time spent picking fruit in the Midwest. Like those packed bushels, the syrup in this effervescent ode to summertime is bursting with berries, but it also zeroes in on the surprising tropical essence of St~Germain with the warming addition of cinnamon and ginger. To finish, brut sparkling wine is the perfect complement for a fizzy cocktail that fits the vibes from the beaches of Biarritz to your own backyard BBQ.
Scott is a Chicago native and hospitality-industry veteran who got his start at GT Fish and Oyster. From there he was part of the opening team for the Berkshire Room and Broken Shaker at Freehand Chicago. He’s currently the beverage manager for Cindy’s at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel.
It’s green, super fresh, and packed with all the natural delights you’d find out in a well-tended plot of land, but this is no garden-variety spritz. The Green Thumb Cooler, from Stacey Swenson, features a shrub with a grocery-list’s worth of herbs and veggies mixed in for a sweet and savory taste you won’t soon forget. It’s no easy task to shine through alongside such a compelling concoction, but floral St~Germain does just that with a lift from the lightness of lime seltzer. Step outside, catch a cool breeze, and get to digging . . . into this terrific cocktail!
Formerly the head bartender at NYC’s Dante, Stacey moved on to a new role as bar manager at the newly opened Bar Pisellino until it shut in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She also heads up creative drinks strategies for Simple Serve and was named StarChefs Rising Star bartender of 2019.
They get longer and longer, but even the most blissful, balmy days of summer must come to an end. But that’s all right when there’s an equally dazzling Darkened Summer Moon rising to greet you. Modeled after a shaved-ice Japanese street treat, Christian “Suzu” Suzuki-Orellana’s bright and toasty spritz can be built two ways—in a traditional collins glass or in a bowl kakigōri-style with a dome of flavored crushed ice on top. Don’t be fooled by its daunting shade of color, because this is an uplifting mix of St~Germain, sparkling wine, fresh lemon, and black sesame with a fun, festive twist!
Growing up, Suzu split his time between the San Francisco Bay area and Japan, where he learned about hospitality at his grandparents’ cocktail bar, restaurant, and farm that sourced all of the produce. The cocktails that got him named national finalist for Bacardi Legacy and Bombay Sapphire’s Most Imaginative Bartender were heavily inspired by memories, flavors, and dreams of Tokyo.
Surrounded by fragrant elderflowers swaying in the golden sunshine, let’s pop a cork and raise a glass to the season ahead. Sign up now and you’ll soon be basking with a jam-packed Puttin’ on the Spritz Box, an experience every bit as delicious and colorful as it is carbonated.
The Shaker & Spoon Team
*not vegan: neri goma syrup (it contains honey)