It happens every year around this time, Memorial Day scans still fresh and the Fourth of July long (this year, extra-long) weekend sneaking up: a “drink of summer” starts to emerge. Last year it was the flavor-forward, nostalgia-dripping Dirty Shirley. 2021 saw the espresso martini, which of course turned out to have incredible staying power.
This year, our money is on something we hinted at earlier this spring that’s turning out to really be a thing…in terms of place, if not liquid itself. We spotlighted amaro as on the rise, and it turns out, this Italian sipping thing is bigger than one liqueur. In fact, it’s taking hold big time this summer and is kissed with pinpoint carbonation.
Think Aperol Spritz but go and wider and more adventurous. We see Italian Spritzes of all types taking up serious real estate on beach blankets and rooftops this summer, primed for takeoff thanks to new takes on flavor and format.
Case in point: our client Loverboy’s brand new, limited-edition Limoncello Spritz. It tastes as good as it sounds – make that, even better (OK, we’re biased) : light, effervescent, the perfect hint of sweet-tart lemon, all canned up for anywhere enjoyment. The first run sold out in a week, pointing right to Americans’ thirst for a taste of the Italian Coast. (We chalk it up to equal parts wanderlust, equal parts evolution of American palates, as reported on by The New York Times and The Washington Post).
It comes at a time when travel to Italy is up by over 70%, so it could be a two-way street: part wanderlusters grabbing for anything fun, new and Italia-centic, part return trippers inspired by what they sipped at for-real aperitivo-time.
Bottled, multi-serve Amalfi-tinged spritzes are taking their place alongside cans on shelves, fridges and coolers. There is Jennifer Lopez’s new line of Delola spritz cocktails, and with the likes of NYC it-spot Via Carota getting into the bottled spritz game, expect more Italian-centric spritz recipes to wash up on shore.
And then there’s that drink we’re seeing everywhere from TikTok to Delish: the Hugo Spritz. This Northern cousin of the Aperol Spritz swaps in St. Germain for super light, bright and floral summer sip. And with St. Germain up 10%+ year-over-year (per IMPACT) and cracking Drizly’s top 10 list for Memorial Day weekend, this recipe just might get the bottle treatment sooner rather than later.
You know we’ll report on it – and try it – as soon as it does.