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Touring through the best Italian wines

Nothing says summer like a chilled, refreshing Spritz. The clink of ice cubes in the glass, the fizz of bubbles being poured, the swirl of a swizzle stick. And to celebrate summer this year, a number of Four Seasons hotels and resorts across Europe and Africa have created their own special twists on the classic Spritz, giving guests a new cocktail list to tick off this summer.

The Aperol Peach Spritz at Four Seasons Hotel Baku

Peaches are one of the favourite fruits of Azeris, being at their sweetest in summer and reminiscent of holidays spent in the great outdoors. The Aperol Peach Spritz at Four Seasons Hotel Baku combines fresh juicy peach with the ingredients of a typical Spritz to create a cocktail that has a touch of sweetness, yet remains refreshing.

Says the Hotel’s Assistant Food and Beverage Director Firat Saridikmen, a self-confessed “peachaholic,” “Sometimes you remember your summer holiday by one dish you ate, one song you heard, or one fragrance you smelled. We’re hoping that our Peach Spritz becomes the summer memory that our guests will take home with them this year long after they leave us.”

The KOLLÁZS Spritz at Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest

Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest has given a Hungarian twist to the traditional Spritz for this summer, with the addition of homemade local mountain berry soda in its KOLLÁZS Spritz.

Says Balázs Orbán, creator of the cocktail and Bartender at KOLLÁZS Bar, this is an “original Aperol Spritz with an extra punch that comes from the addition of the sweet red berries that give it a gorgeous pale red colour. The perfect pre-dinner drink to quench the thirst on a hot summer night.”

The Club Spritz at the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel

In the sun-bathed Côte d’Azur, guests at Club Dauphin at Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat this summer will be able to enjoy the Club Spritz, created by Frank Carcamo, Chief Barman, and Johann Burgos, Director of Club Dauphin. Combining homemade rosemary syrup, cucumber syrup, fresh basil leaves, tilmut pepper berries, prosecco and a spray of homemade bitters, this is the perfect tipple infused with the flavours of the Grand-Hôtel. But the real secret is in this final spray of bitters.

Inspiration hit the pair like a ray of sunlight when they realised that many guests were enjoying the traditional Aperol Spritz poolside at the Club. Johann and Frank decided to create their own palate-tickling Spritz that fully expresses the unique scents, flavours and emotions of the region. Their homemade bitters recipe remains a closely guarded secret, but is based on the aromatic herbs found in the fragrant gardens of the Grand-Hôtel, whose blossoms and beauty have inspired Picasso and other famous artists over the years, as well as local liquors and wine. The process behind the bitters is at once unique and traditional, inspired by the Champagne riddling method. It starts with the preparation of a birch barrel, which is submerged in the Mediterranean for 24 hours and then desalted in fresh water. The barrel is next filled with homemade bitters for 14 days, and shaken and turned daily to infuse it with the concentrated aromas. Finally, the elixir is discarded and the barrel is refilled with the bitters mix to be aged over one year right at Club Dauphin. The result? A unique Spritz combining iodized, herbaceous and slightly vanilla flavours for a refreshing seaside sip.

The 2017 bitters is the first of a new vintage collection offered by Club Dauphin. Next year guests will have the chance to choose between the 2017 or 2018 vintages, each putting its own unique characteristics into a Club Spritz. This is just the beginning as more vintages are planned for the coming years to complete this unique collection by the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel, along the French Riviera.

Take a stroll along the Via Veneto with Four Seasons Hotel Firenze

The garden at Four Seasons Hotel Firenze is the perfect spot for sipping a summer tipple, and Edoardo Sandri, Head Mixologist at the Hotel’s Atrium Bar, has just the thing. Called the Via Veneto, this is his recommendation for this summer’s Spritz of choice. “It’s a sweeter version of the classic Italian Spritz, and is a blend of prosecco, St-Germain elderflower liqueur and fresh berries, decorated with a fresh flower. It’s like summer in a glass!”

Enjoying the Panorama at Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg

Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg is famed for its spectacular views, and it’s these very same views that have inspired the Panorama Spritz. Made with a blend of South African Claudia brut bubbles, fresh celery juice, litchi eau de vie and gin, this cocktail has a complex yet refreshing taste.

According to Takunda Mposhi, who is responsible for delivering the best cocktails each day at the Hotel’s Pre View bar, “The Panorama was inspired by the uninterrupted views of our beautiful city Jozi from Pre View, so there’s really no better place to enjoy it that right here with the whole city panorama laid out in front of you.”

The 19 Spritz at Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon

Taking guests on a journey from the north to the south of Portugal, the 19 Spritz at Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon takes its name from its main ingredient, a traditional Portuguese flower liquor dating back to the 19th century, named Licor Beirão. Originally used as a medicinal product to soothe stomach aches, the tonic contains extracts of eucalyptus, cinnamon, rosemary and lavender, which perfectly complement the cocktail’s other ingredients – Espumante Valdoeiro, a sparkling wine from the Bairrada region of Portugal, and Agua Castello, mineral water produced since 1899 in a national ecological reserve in the Alentejo region.

And why should this be the drink of choice this summer in Lisbon? “The 19 Spritz is made with unique Portuguese ingredients, two of them dating back to the 19th century. It’s a refreshing Spritz representing the Portuguese soul – bubbly and fun – and is the perfect refreshing drink for a hot day in Lisbon,” says Bar Manager Ricardo Felgueiras.

The Ciao Campari at Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita

Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita is inviting guests to say “Ciao Campari!” with its new Spritz for the summer, combining Campari, fresh lemon, homemade ginger paste and tonic for a refreshing taste of the island. Since it’s a Spritz minus the prosecco, according to Bar Manager Avinash Ooriah, “this cocktail is less alcoholic and more refreshing, something to enjoy guilt-free by the pool or on the beach.” And with ginger having medicinal properties including helping to lower blood sugars and cholesterol, it could be considered to be on the healthier side of the cocktail menu. Cheers!

The Fashion Spritz at Four Seasons Hotel Milano

In the European capital of fashion, Bar Manager Luca Angeli at Four Seasons Hotel Milano decided to create a tribute to one of the most famous Italian cocktails using flavours of the Mediterranean to create the Fashion Spritz. By combining Essentiae Luna orange liqueur, created in small batches to a traditional family method, and the Hotel’s own recipe soda infused with grapefruit juice and Sichuan pepper, he has created a refreshing Spritz with a touch of bitterness and a spicy finish.

Says Angeli, “I wanted to highlight the citrus flavours and balance the sweetness with a touch of fresh basil and our homemade soda, and the result is an aperitif just perfect for enjoying in our Hotel’s peaceful garden on a sunny summer’s day.”

The Gigi Spritz at Four Seasons Hotel Moscow

With this having been the summer of football in Russia, Four Seasons Hotel Moscow is offering a Russian twist on the classic Spritz in the guise of the Gigi Spritz, named after football legend Gianluigi Buffon and his nickname “Gigi,” to let the football excitement live on.

Forming part of a menu of 11 cocktails named after famous footballers around the world, Sergey Zaletov, Head Bartender of Moskovsky Bar, says that “the Gigi is inspired by my favourite Italian footballer who embodies the spirit of the classic Italian cocktail perfectly to me.”

Russia meets Italy with the soda water being replaced by local pear lemonade, giving it a well-balanced, rounded and bittersweet flavour.