Last weekend it was absolutely beautiful here in Southern California… the sun was shining, flowers were blooming, spring had finally arrived. My friend Michelle Chiklis and I decided to take advantage of the gorgeous afternoon. You might remember Michelle from my Passover Potluck; she writes a terrific lifestyle blog called Carpool, Couture and Cocktails. We wanted to do something fun and kitchen-y together with my stepdaughter, her daughter and their friend. What better way to celebrate the beautiful weather than with a Spritzer Bar!
What, you mean you’ve never heard of a spritzer bar? I hadn’t either until the Big Traveling Potluck, a food blogging retreat in Temecula, CA. Whole Foods sponsored lunch and a Spritzer Bar at the retreat, and I thought the idea was inspired. It’s a really fun thing to put together for a spring party, baby shower, bat mitzvah, bridal shower or “just because.” We recreated the Spritzer Bar at Michelle’s house and the girls had a blast assembling their own tasty, pretty, one-of-a-kind “spritzers.”
The basic idea is to create a “bar” with all kinds of natural ingredients that can be combined into colorful, creative drinks. I say bar, but this can easily be done with no alcohol at all (though Prosecco is an option for the grown ups!). I’ve outlined the basics for setting up a Spritzer Bar below. This is just a general guide, feel free to get creative with the ingredients and mixers. My herb infused simple syrups would make an awesome addition to the bar as well, if you have the time to prep them.
Basics you will need
- Large bowl of ice
- Serving glasses
- Fruit-flavored Italian sodas or sparkling waters in a variety of flavors
- Sparkling water, unflavored (Pellegrino)
- Agave nectar and/or simple syrup for sweetening
- Prosecco wine (optional- a mixer for the grown-ups!)
- Glasses or mini mason jars for the spritzers
Optional Ingredients – Choose Your Favorites
- Citrus slices - orange, blood orange, lemon and/or lime
- Melon cubes
- Papaya cubes
- Mango cubes
- Pineapple cubes
- Cucumber slices
- Jicama cubes
- Jalapeño slices (for the more adventurous!)
- Fresh lavender
- Edible flowers
- Herb infused simple syrups
- Assemble your bar. Provide a large bowl of ice at the head of the table, along with the glasses, where your guests can begin assembling their drinks.
- In the middle of the table, place your optional ingredients and add-ins-- fresh fruit, savory and spicy add-ins, fresh herbs and garnish.
- At the end of the table, put your Italian sodas or sparkling waters and Prosecco, if using. Place your sweetener at this end, along with some small spoons or stirring sticks for stirring the drinks.
- Guests make their way from the head of the table through the middle to the end. First ice, then optional ingredients, then a beverage. Top it off with sweetener, if desired.
- There are so many flavor combinations that can come out of these ingredients. Guests will have a great time assembling their drinks and sipping on their beautiful creations. What a sweet and refreshing touch for a spring celebration!