Level Up Your Summertime Sip With the Vodka Spritzer
Some days call for a classic cocktail, others for a funky and unique craft cocktail. Yet some others call for…a down home party drink. There’s no shame, and this one is 100% delicious. Try this refreshing Vodka Spritzer! These photos make it look like it could be overly sweet, but it’s anything but. It’s just sweet enough with a subtle berry flavor: tangy, refreshing and sparkling all at once. That’s cranberry juice that makes the brilliant red color, but it’s 100% juice so it’s tart and crisp instead of saccharine. It makes for the most satisfying party drink that you won’t want to end.
What’s in a vodka spritzer?
First of all: what’s a spritzer? A spritzer usually refers to a wine spritzer, a drink made with wine and soda water that originated in Austria. Diluting wine with water started back in the 19th century, as a way to make bubbly wine. The name comes from the German word “spritzen,” meaning “to spray.” You can make a spritzer with any type of wine.
Turns out, you can also make a spritzer with vodka! A vodka spritzer is a mixed drink that combines vodka, soda water, and other juices or fruits. It’s a fairly loose concept, so there are many ways to make this drink. You can make it with almost any fruit or juice you like! Here’s what’s in vodka spritzer recipe:
- Soda Water (or carbonated water: not tonic water, which is sweetened)
- Cranberry juice
- Simple Syrup
The trick to a vodka spritzer: marinating the fruit!
You could serve this vodka spritzer as is and it would taste okay. But the trick to this drink is letting it marinate! Just place the vodka, simple syrup, and cranberry juice in a pitcher with sliced lemons and strawberries. Give it just 30 minutes, and it infuses the berries and tangy lemon right into the drink.
You can do this in advance too! Just try not to let it marinate for over 4 hours. Extending beyond that point makes the fruit get soggy. If you’re wanting to make it up in advance, simply refrigerate the cut fruit and measured liquids, then place them together 30 minutes before serving.
How to serve it!
When you serve the drink, just add 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) of the drink mixture to a glass and top it off with soda water. You don’t have to measure in this case: just top off the glass! Garnish with fruit from the marinade, fresh mint sprigs, and lots of ice. We like to top it off with fancy straws because…why not?
Use unsweetened cranberry juice
This vodka spritzer uses just a bit of cranberry juice to get a brilliant color and a bit of tangy flavor. But make sure to find the right kind of juice when you’re buying it! Not all cranberry juice is the same. Here’s what to know:
- Avoid sweetened cranberry juice aka cranberry juice cocktail. Classic cranberry drinks like the Vodka Cranberry were made with sweetened cranberry juice. It’s often labeled as cranberry juice cocktail, which includes sugar and sometimes high-fructose corn.
- Use unsweetened cranberry juice. It’s also labeled as 100% cranberry juice. The flavor is very sweet tart, and the color is very vibrant.
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 12 ounces (1 ½ cups) vodka
- 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) simple syrup
- 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsweetened 100% cranberry juice*
- Soda Water, for serving
- Ice, for serving
- For the garnish: 1 handful fresh mint leaves
- Slice the lemon into rounds. Thinly slice the strawberries.
- Place the lemons and strawberries in a pitcher with the vodka, simple syrup, and cranberry juice. Marinate at least 30 minutes (or up to 4 hours).
- To serve, pour 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) of the vodka mix over ice and top with a splash of soda water to taste. Garnish with the fruit from the pitcher and sprigs of fresh mint leaves.
*If all you can find is sweetened cranberry juice (often labeled as cranberry juice cocktail), use half the simple syrup specified in this recipe. Or you can use it as is for a sweeter drink!
What To Pair With the Vodka Spritzer
This drink is incredibly versatile! Blend it up for a crowd-pleasing cocktail at laid-back summer gatherings or pre-wedding festivities like bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, and bachelorette parties. Bonus: This Insta-worthy cocktail pairs perfectly with a summer dress in a bright hue! Try our Happy Summer Orange Dress!
Or if you’re hanging by the beach, don’t forget to sip pretty in summer essentials like a bold swimsuit, a beach bag, slide sandals, and of course, oversized sunglasses!
I’m all about the neutrals with a pop of color and the Vodka Spritzer is the perfect pop of red to go with any summer outfit.
Let us know if you try this cocktail by tagging us on Instagram @JKFashionistas and make sure to use #loveJKFashionistas! For more summer outfit essentials, head to our Summer Fashion shop!