Don’t sleep on the spritzer. The classic cocktail, which follows a loose formula of something effervescent plus bitters plus liquor plus citrus, invites endless variations. It’s a cinch to tweak the drink’s flavor profile to fit a given season, making it the perfect drink to serve year round. But it’s an especially perfect quaff for intimate holiday festivities, which practically demand drinking something bubbly and visually stunning. Something that looks decadent when poured into a dainty Champagne flute, which is lifted high above guests’ heads as part of a heartfelt cheer. Something light by flavorful, which can be sipped throughout the night. For that, Cocktail Courier’s holiday-themed Ruby Spritzer is just the thing.
For bubbles, the Ruby Spritzer calls on sweet-tart sparkling apple cider, which marries perfectly with tangy organic pomegranate juice. They’re joined by Scrappy’s Aromatic Bitters, which lends spicy notes of black pepper and cinnamon bark, and an acidic hit of lemon juice. But smooth PATRÓN Silver Tequila is the star, transforming what would be a merely pleasant cocktail into something extravagant. PATRÓN Silver, made from the Weber Blue Agave, brings fruit-forward notes to the equation without overwhelming the cocktail’s other elements. The drink itself is whipped up easily enough: Vigorously shake all the ingredients except the apple cider in a cocktail mixer, then strain the mixture into a chilled Champagne flute. Top it off with the sparkling cider and garnish each flute with a dainty twist of lemon.
It’s an understatement to say this drink looks appealing. It’s called a “Ruby Spritzer” for good reason: The jewel-like, deep purple-red hue is downright stunning, an effect that’s only amplified when it’s served by the trayful. Speaking of which, Cocktail Courier’s Ruby Spritzer kit comes in two sizes—classic (for eight) and mini (for two)—so you can decide how many drinks are right for you and your crew. There’s a bonus if you get the classic size: A pair delicate Champagne flutes emblazoned with the PATRÓN label comes with the kit. But either kit size is the perfect gift for the tequila-lover in your life (or yourself!).
The Ruby Spritzer is one of the more unusual spritzes out there. The category’s beginnings are hazy, but one origin story pins the spritzer’s birthplace to Hungary in 1842, when scientist Ányos Jedlik brought a bottle of soda water—at the time, a buzzy newfangled invention—down into the wine cellar of his friend, author András Fáy. One thing led to another, and soon the pair were drinking wine cut with soda water, what perhaps amounted to the first spritzer in all of existence.
Or was it? Another legend traces the spritzer’s origins to Venice in the early 1800s, when Habsburg soldiers occupying the city found the local Northern Italian wine too strong for their liking. Their solution? Add a bit—or, as they say in German, a “spritzen”—of water to dilute it.
Today, most spritzers contain some type of sparkling wine or soda water, neither of which are in the Ruby Spritzer. Instead, sparkling apple cider does the job of adding effervescence. And rather than rely on wine for a boozy kick, PATRÓN Silver Tequila does the job quite nicely and then some, amping up the drama without going overboard on the alcohol. These changes are all part of the appeal of spritzers: They’re shapeshifters, amenable to all manner of tweaks to fit a given occasion.
The Ruby Spritzer, with its festive base of tequila, is a perfect accompaniment to a Mexican-themed holiday dinner. Opt for a decadent taco spread, complete with store-bought corn tortillas (or homemade, they’re easier to make than you think!) and a variety of fillings. For meat-lovers, we’re partial to cocoa-braised, fall-apart short ribs, and for the veggie option, ancho chile-dusted roasted cauliflower. Don’t skimp on toppings like Champagne vinegar-pickled red onions, creamy diced avocado, tangy Mexican crema, chopped cilantro, and—as a nod to the Ruby Spritzer—pomegranate seeds.
Ready to mix up the perfect Ruby Spritzer? Grab your kit and follow along below. And for even more tips on mixing up the perfect holiday cocktail, RSVP now for our Holiday Happy Hour Cocktail Class — December 10th at 6pm ET. At this exclusive virtual mixology class, you’ll learn how to make three great festive cocktails for holiday entertaining at home. Cheers!
Ingredients (Serves 1):
- 1.5oz PATRÓN Silver Tequila
- 1oz Pomegranate juice
- 0.5oz lemon juice
- 2oz Sparkling apple cider
- 1 dash Scrappy’s aromatic bitters
- Garnish: lemon twist
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake with ice to chill. Strain into a champagne flute. Garnish with a lemon twist.