The New Spritz-er
Nadia Kurtz - August 1st, 2014
Bars are adopting spirit sprays, a flavorful alternative to a cocktail rinse. The long-held tradition of rinsing a glass with spirits before pouring to enhance a drink’s flavor is being updated with this new method.
Mixologists at Chicago’s Lush Wine & Spirits are jumping on board at the wine bar’s two locations by incorporating spirit sprays into their normal cocktail-mixing routines. Lush’s process includes combining the ingredients used in a rinse and putting them in a spray bottle. In making one of these homemade spritzers, Lush suggests using a bottle with an atomizer, as it has a small funnel handy for pouring liquids. The convenient spray bottles can be reused for various other spirits to provide different notes and aromas.
Trummer’s On Main (Clifton, VA) is another bar that has been using spirit sprays in their drinks. While Stefan Trummer, beverage director/owner, regularly uses commercial spirit sprays, he’s now working on his own original line.
Trummer explains that the sprays are not only effective for adding flavor to drinks, but they also provide another sensory layer.
The Bottega Grappa Alexander spray is a white Moscato Grappa with scents of fruit. The commercial spray is not limited to drinks—it can also be paired with oysters, pastries, and espresso.
“It sits on top of the glass, and every time you take a sip, you can smell whatever you sprayed on,” he says. “It rounds out the cocktail and gives it a more well-balanced taste—almost umami-like.”
One of Lush’s prized combinations is a Kubler Absinthe spray with a Sazerac cocktail, made with Whistle Pig Rye, simple syrup, and Peychaud’s Bitters. Adding one more misting to the top of the drink heightens the aroma while intensifying the absinthe flavor.
Both Lush and Trummer’s On Main anticipate spirit sprays becoming increasingly popular in the world of mixology. “Bartenders are always looking for the next big thing,” says Trummer, “and it will catch on pretty fast.”