It’s time – time to take a break. As in a Spritz Break. We know each other well enough that you know I love a good aperitivo (aka Italian happy hour). I adore the pairing of sunset, small bites, and a glass of something that works with anything from prosciutto to olives. And in the hot summer months my go-to aperitivo drink is The Classic Spritz.
This summer I’ve been entertaining a lot and wanted a twist on the Spritz that I could mix by the batch and serve from happy hour to dinner hour without a worry. I’m talking a summer punch. We rarely see punch during the warmer months and I think it’s time we change that, starting with this Summer Break Aperol Spritz Punch. It’s a twist on the classic 3-2-1 Spritz recipe, with blood orange soda and homemade strawberry vodka, and, if you make a whole punch bowl, it turns into a 5-4-3-2-1 recipe!
This is a recipe that’s festive, fun, and really easy to make. And it can be scaled up or down as you please so you can make it for 4 people or 20, depending on the size of your party. Just like the classic Spritz, this is a low octane cocktail so it won’t overwhelm you in strength but it still has great flavor. It’s a drink to serve when you gather friends alfresco for a lazy summer happy hour where you serve simple antipasti, this punch, and make no other plans except to enjoy each other’s company into the wee hours. That’s my kind of #SpritzBreak!
hulled and halved, divided
or other dry sparkling wine
without any white pith, for garnish (optional)
or ice block (see note below)
To Make The Strawberry Vodka: Combine the vodka and half of the strawberries (about 1 pound) in a glass jar or stainless steel airtight container and set aside for at least 12 hours. The vodka is ready when it is bright red and tastes like strawberries. Discard the berries and keep the vodka in an airtight container until ready to use.
(If you don’t have time to do this, you can use regular vodka or omit it.)
To Make The Aperol Spritz Punch: In a large serving bowl, combine Prosecco, Aperol, Blood Orange soda, sparkling water, and 1 cup of the strawberry vodka. Stir in the orange slices and remaining strawberries. Add the ice block or ice cubes and serve with a rosette of orange peel (simply some orange peel twisted on itself into a rose shape), if desired.
To make an ice block: fill a loaf pan with water and freeze. If you want to get fancy, you can add some hulled and halved strawberries to the pan before freezing and, if like me, you don’t like your drinks diluted, you can make the block using the Blood orange soda and sparkling water.
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