This is now the third cocktail created for the custom cocktail collab where I create a cocktail for people based on what they tell me they like in their drinks.
A simple series, but it’s pretty fun! You can check out the last one I did HERE.
This one I am calling the Topaz Spritz because all of the ingredients fit into that warm family of colors, and the final drink is topaz-y looking. Plus it’s just a cool word.
But you could just call it a citrus amaro spritz.
Kristen, who this cocktail is made for, gave me a few guidelines to follow when creating the drink:
- She said she enjoys anything citrusy and fruity, and loves IPAs. (me too!)
- Most any alcohol was okay with her other than tequila.
- She doesn’t have much liquor at home but was willing to start building up the liquor cabinet.
- Something that was simple to make at home would be best.
Okay Kristen, here’s what I got for ya!
How I created this amaro spritz
I decided to start with an IPA as my inspiration, so I was thinking of three main things: bitter, bubbly and citrus forward. As I tinkered with the recipe it began to come something a little more than that, but that base idea is still there.
My first try was pretty bland to be honest.
I wanted to go for something extremely simple but the first combination of lemon, grapefruit, sweetener and Cognac just was not working how I envisioned it. It needed more complexity!
Sometimes extremely simple works, but with the flavors of an IPA in my head the simplicity wasn’t matching what my imagination was going for.
A good IPA has layers of flavor to it so there needed to be a little dimension happening.
Step one, use amaro. Amaro has all kinds of complex herbal flavors and for this cocktail I chose to use Montenegro. It is a really solid option with some spice, green herbal notes, cardamom, and cloves, and is on the lighter side for an amaro which works for a light spritz style cocktail.
Step two, use a sweetener that has more interest than regular old simple syrup. So to add another layer of flavor I went with honey. You can’t exactly add it right to the cocktail shaker seeing as it is usually too thick and gloopy, but you can really easily make a syrup out of it.
And it’s super easy.
Just add one part honey and one part water to a small saucepan until the honey is completely dissolved and that’s it. Based on what type of honey you use you will have slightly different flavors than I did in the finished drink, but that is part of the beauty of making cocktails at home.
The honey will taste like the area the bees who made it lived in, and that’s an awesome thing so use any good local honey you can find.
Putting the cocktail together
Once you have the syrup made (which will take you all of 5 minutes) everything is just poured right into a wine glass and topped up with soda water.
The ingredients I haven’t mentioned yet are all straight forward.
Buy a decent bottle of Cognac. I like to go with Pierre Ferrand or Maison Rouge for mixing cocktails, but any solid bottle will do. As always use fresh citrus juice and you’re off to the races.
The only other choice you need to make is whether to finish the drink with lemon peel, grapefruit peel, or both.
Just depends which flavor you want to highlight.
I couldn’t decide for this one as I ended up liking it either way so I decided to go with both, but it’s up to you. The same thing happens when I make Old Fashioneds. I like them with both orange and lemon peel so I mix it up just about every time and occasionally I will use both.
This really is an easy one to make, and can serve as inspiration for all kinds of variations on spritz style cocktails. I hope you get the chance to try this one and I would love to know what you think.
The Topaz Amaro Spritz
- 1 1/4 oz Cognac
- 1 1/4 oz Amaro - (Montenegro)
- 3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice
- 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
- 1/2 oz Honey Syrup
- about 2 oz Soda Water - (cold is best)
- Prepare a honey syrup but adding one part honey and one part water to a small saucepan and gently heating until the honey is dissolved. Refrigerate to chill and store for making more cocktails!
- Add ice to a wine glass.
- Add all of the ingredients other than the soda straight into the glass.
- Stir for a few seconds and then top with soda water.
- Express the oils of a grapefruit peel, lemon peel, or both over the top of the finished drink.
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Spritz style drinks like this are killer in the summer, and the are also really easy to experiment with. Try making your own with the cocktail ingredients you have.
Pin this drink for later!