Fortify red wine with orange liqueur, add soda water for bubbles, and serve on the rocks for a refreshing red wine spritzer. A great summer drink, and perfect for the holidays, too!
Why you’ll love it: A red wine spritzer is a popular cocktail and it’s very easy to make. There are lots of different ways to change it up, too.
How long it takes: 5 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: just plenty of ice
Servings: as many as you like
A red wine spritzer starts with red wine, of course, but even if you’re not a wine drinker, don’t stop reading (unless you happen to avoid wine because of the alcohol). Even if you’re not fond of red wine, I recommend giving this cocktail a chance (or try our white wine spritzer).
A red wine spritzer is lighter tasting than plain red wine. Adding carbonation in the form of soda water or club soda gives the drink effervescence (lots of bubbles!), imbuing plain wine with a more festive and celebratory feel. It will make you think of sparkling wine.
Because this cocktail is also fortified with an ounce of orange liqueur, it has a bit more alcohol than regular wine, but not much. You can easily turn this red wine spritzer into a punch and serve it at your next party.
Why You’ll Love This Red Wine Spritzer
- It’s super easy to make. Whether you’re stirring up a single cocktail, a pitcher, or a punch bowl, this festive drink won’t take you long to make. It only has a few ingredients.
- A spritzer is appropriate for almost any occasion. Serve it on a warm summer evening when you’re looking for a refreshing drink to cool off with. It’s perfect to serve with hearty holiday dinners such as Thanksgiving or Christmas because it’s light and fruity. It works well at a brunch or bridal showers. From book clubs to girlfriends’ night, a spritzer is always welcome.
- You can easily change it up. There are so many ways to customize this cocktail. Check out the recipe card for ideas.
What you’ll Need to Make A Spritzer
- Pinot Noir Wine: For more about the best wine to choose for a red wine spritzer, read the section below. You’ll need about 4 oz. of wine per spritzer. There are 25 ounces in a 750 ml bottle of wine, which is enough to make 6 spritzers.
- Orange Liqueur: Some popular brands are Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Curaçao, or Triple Sec. Orange liqueur is flavored with dried orange peel or orange essential oils, and is 60 to 80 proof. It will keep indefinitely and is an important ingredient in lots of other cocktails. Try this blood orange martini or strawberry margarita punch.
- Soda Water: This unsweetened mixer is carbonated water. It may be called sparkling water or seltzer. Club soda is similar but has added minerals. Make sure it’s well chilled.
- Ice: You’ll need plenty of fresh ice, either ice cubes or crushed ice.
- Orange Wedges, for Garnish: You could say that any garnish is optional, I guess, but a garnish makes a good first impression. It not only decorates the cocktail, it also introduces flavor, via olfactory receptors. (That’s a fancy way to say they smell good!)
What is the best red wine for a spritzer?
I usually choose a pinot noir for wine spritzers. Pinot noir is a fruity dry red wine, with notes of cherry, raspberry, and sometimes strawberry. It’s light to medium-bodied, low in tannins, and it’s often served lightly chilled.
Choose a wine that you would enjoy drinking on its own. An expensive aged wine isn’t necessary for spritzers but the wine should be good quality.
Feel free to experiment with other red wines you’re familiar with. Look for a light bodied fruity wine. Rosé wine is a popular choice for spritzers (be sure to try my rosé spritzer or raspberry rose spritzer).
How To Make a Red Wine Spritzer
Red wine spritzers are very easy to make.
Simply pour four ounces of red wine into a glass filled with ice.
Add a splash of orange liqueur (1 ounce), and then top it off with about 4 ounces of carbonated soda water. Garnish with an orange slice, if desired.
That’s it! I’m sure you’ll enjoy this refreshing drink.
Looking for something to munch on with your wine spritzer? How about homemade Cheez-Its cheddar cheese crackers, olive oil roasted almonds, or crisp fried goat cheese? Crackers with crab rangoon dip or homemade spinach dip are great, too!
Make It Your Own
- Aperol Spritzer: Substitute Aperol, an Italian bitter apéritif, for the orange liqueur (or make an Aperol spritz with sparkling wine instead of red wine).
- Cherry Spritzer: Substitute cherry liqueur for the orange liqueur and top with ginger ale instead of seltzer or soda water; garnish with maraschino cherries, if desired.
- Light Spritzer: Omit orange liqueur. Make a spritzer with equal parts wine and soda water. You could also make it with Sprite or 7-Up for a sweeter drink.
- Sangria Spritzer: Making a spritzer and gussying it up with fruit equals Sangria. Add simple syrup to taste, and cut up fruit, such as strawberries, oranges, peaches, pineapple, etc.
- 4 ounces red wine (such as pinot noir), chilled
- 1 ounce orange liqueur (such as Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Triple Sec, etc.)
- 4 ounces soda water, chilled (or sparkling water, seltzer, club soda)
- ice cubes or coarsely crushed ice
- Orange slice for garnish
- Fill glass with ice cubes.
- Pour in wine and orange liqueur; gently stir. Top with soda water; stir to combine.
- Garnish with orange slice, if desired, and serve immediately.
- Substitute Aperol, an Italian bitter apéritif, for the orange liqueur.
- Add cherry liqueur (omit orange liqueur) and top with ginger ale instead of soda water; garnish with maraschino cherries, if desired.
- Light spritzer: Omit orange liqueur. Make spritzer with equal parts wine and soda water, Sprite, or 7-Up.
- Sangria spritzer: Add simple syrup to taste, and cut up fruit, such as strawberries, oranges, peaches, pineapple, etc.)
- a bottle of pinot noir (750 ml)
- 6 oz. orange liqueur
- 24 oz. soda water, chilled
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.