I love a Spritz. I’ve enjoyed them at home, in bars, and in their birthplace in Venice. And I’ve enjoyed them for good reason, because the Spritz is incredibly hard to fuck up. The recipe is impossibly simple: Aperol, Prosecco, some soda.
People keep trying to bottle versions of the Spritz that are ready-to-drink, and I’m not against that idea. Why not? Again: The recipe is so simple, it should be foolproof to just mix those ingredients and drop them into a bottle. None of them go bad. If you want to throw a little spin on the recipe, sure, go for it… but make sure you have the basics down first, will ya?
This is not rocket science.
Delola — founded by Jennifer Lopez, folks — makes a bottled version of the classic Spritz — though it doesn’t include wine — plus two other concoctions, neither of which are at all Spritzes but which, I guess, are close enough for the mass market. All use real, premium ingredients but include vegetable juice and beta carotene for color. I had high hopes, so let’s dive in.
Delola Spritz L’Orange – “Premium amaro” with orange and passionfruit. Something doesn’t jibe here, as neither orange nor passionfruit are prominent. Instead I get a somewhat vegetal, carrot-heavy character that fades into notes of guava and cantaloupe. Gummy, short on the critical orange component, and missing out on the level of bracing bitterness it requires to really evoke a true Spritz. The finish tastes suspiciously close to medicine. 10.5% abv. C-
Delola Spritz Paloma Rosa – Tequila with grapefruit and elderflower. So, not really a Spritz but a decent spin on a paloma, with the bitterness of real grapefruit and a light punch of vegetal tequila in the mix. The elderflower is faint, barely there, serving as a needed sweetening agent. As with the L’Orange there’s a carrot-like heaviness to the proceedings, but this one finds a balance that works quite a bit better in the end. 11.5% abv. NOM 1509. B
Delola Spritz Bella Berry – Vodka, “berry,” and hibiscus — essentially a fizzy Cape Cod. Bold cranberry and raspberry flavors dominate here, as well they should, given the deep ruby color. Mild carbonation makes this the least bubbly of the bunch, and in fact a bit more would be nice to cut through some of the deep purple fruit notes — bordering on currants in the end. Ultimately harmless, it feels like a perfectly solid punch, or at least the base for one. 10.5% abv. B+
each $18 (750ml) / delolalife.com