Strawberry Spritz

Recently I started reaching for my bottle of Vermouth Blanc more and more. I had opened it to make an El Presidente cocktail, but during an interview on my IG Live channel with Pierre-Olivier Rousseaux, owner of Dolin distillery in France, he remarked that their Chambéryzette apéritif, made in the French alps, could be made at home, anywhere, with fresh strawberries and white vermouth. So I took the plunge and made a batch myself.

It’s very easy to make. Just slice or quarter a few fresh strawberries and within 24 hours, you can be enjoying your very own batch of strawberry apéritif!

White vermouth (vermouth blanc) is different than dry vermouth. For one thing, the botanicals used are different. Dry vermouth leans into its bitterness with wormwood, quinine, or other flavorings that keep it decidedly dry. White vermouth celebrates its sparkling-clear color with floral aromas, which can include elderflowers and citrus. While you could make this with dry vermouth, I do prefer it with the white vermouth, which in Italy is referred to as vermouth bianco.

When I took a sip of the strawberry-infused vermouth the next day, it seemed like it’d be a perfect candidate for a summery Spritz. So I mixed it with a splash of tonic water, and found it was just perfect as-is, with a handful of ice and some berries and maybe a slice of citrus in it. If you want to go full-on summer, you could replace the citrus with a slice of peach or nectarine, or maybe a few other types of berries.

Tonic water has become more of a topic of conversation lately. Brands like Schweppes are popular and readily available (and you can make your own tonic water, too), but some like to fine-tune their cocktails and apéritifs with a premium brand of tonic water. Fever-Tree, Q, and Fentimen’s are popular, but I kept mine French using Archibald, which uses gentian in place of quinine, to keep it resolutely Made in France. (Quinine doesn’t grow in France, but gentian does.) As far as I know, it’s not available outside of the country but feel free to find your own favorite where you live, and use that.


Strawberry Spritz
Print Recipe
1 drink
Strawberry-infused vermouth adapted and inspired by Hauz Alpenz and Dolin vermouth. I used white vermouth, which is more aromatic, and a bit sweeter than dry vermouth. In French, it's called vermouth blanc and in Italy, it's referred to as bianco. If you buy a bottle, you can also use it to make yourself an El Presidente cocktail.
For the strawberry-infused vermouth
1 1/2 cups (375ml) vermouth blanc or dry vermouth
8 medium-sized strawberries, sliced or quartered
For the strawberry spritz
2 ounces strawberry-infused vermouth
2 ounces tonic water
quartered or sliced strawberries, for garnish
slice of orange, lemon, lime wheel, or slices of nectarines or peaches for garnish
1. To make the strawberry-infused vermouth, pour the vermouth in a clean jar. Add the strawberries, cover, and shake gently to encourage the strawberries to lend their flavor to the vermouth. Let stand 24 hours at room temperature out of direct sunlight, giving it a shake every so often.
2. To make the spritz, measure the infused-vermouth and tonic water into a footed goblet. Add a handful of ice and stir gently. Garnish with berries and citrus.

Storage: The strawberry-infused vermouth will keep for a few days at room temperature. After you can store it in the refrigerator where it'll keep for a few weeks. I left the strawberries in since I used mine within a few days, but if planning on storing it longer, you can remove them. (They're delicious to eat!)

Strawberry Spritz

33 comments

  • Sara
    June 18, 2020 2:52pm

    It’s a funny thing, but it’s peak strawberry season here in Australia now, too. The Queensland winter crop is just hitting the shops. I shall use some to try this. Cheers!

  • Liz
    June 18, 2020 3:14pm

    Can you also post the strawberry margarita recipe from your video using the infused vermouth? The one in your book is different. I found the Blanc here in Wisconsin and with strawberries coming into season I really want to make those for our 4th of July gathering!

  • Andi-n-AZ
    June 18, 2020 3:25pm

    Could I use sweet Vermouth?

  • June 18, 2020 3:34pm
    David Lebovitz

    Sara: That’s funny – usually Australia is the reverse (or the rest of the world is reverse, if you’re from Australia…) So nice that we’re all in the same strawberry moment. Cheers!

    Liz: I was planning on it. I have to do all the “back-end” stuff like format the recipe for printing, code stuff, etc. but I hope to get it up before (or early) next week.

    Andi n NZ: Sure. It’d be a different flavor (and color) but if you give it a try, let us know how it turns out.

  • Sandra H.
    June 18, 2020 3:54pm

    Thanks for this! The strawberry spritz looks delicious. When I open my first bottle of vermouth blanc, I’ll try both recipes. I looked for Dolin after your interview on IG and found it at one private wine store here, so bought the dry, blanc and sweet to try when I start making cocktails from Drinking French. Plus I now know to refrigerate vermouth and to use it up within a few weeks! I had only bought vermouth for cooking before. Need to throw that old bottle out.

    • June 18, 2020 4:25pm
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, vermouth has a shelf-life (since it’s basically fortified wine) so it’s best used with 2-3 weeks after opening, and should be refrigerated. If you have older vermouth, if it still tastes passable, it’s nice to cook with. You can use it for deglazing pans and adding to sauces and so forth in place of white/red wine.

      • Sandra H.
        June 18, 2020 4:34pm

        I didn’t know that, thanks! Thought I had to throw it out but will test it first.

  • Sherry
    June 18, 2020 4:37pm

    Here in Walnut Creek, California, where we are not yet quite opened up from the COVID lockdown, you can order online and the liquor stores deliver! Just placed an order for a couple of bottles of the Dolin Vermouth de Chambery Blanc and they’ll be delivered this afternoon. Fortunately, I have a big basket of organic strawberries in the fridge. With weather predicted in the mid 90s through the weekend, this will be the perfect late afternoon refreshment!

  • June 18, 2020 5:22pm

    Looks inviting. Your ‘A is for Ananas’ is on my new summer rotation, btw.

  • Kameela
    June 18, 2020 10:52pm

    Looks delicious. Archibald is French? Am a big fan of Fever Tree and Fentiman’s (com8ng from Englan). Need to check out Archibald

  • Lone C
    June 19, 2020 12:34am

    The Spritz looks real nice! I was wondering which glas to use, would 68 cl be a good size?

  • Ida Sessions
    June 19, 2020 3:12am

    I had vermouth bianco, and tonic, but no strawberries, so I dropped a handful of freeze-dried raspberries into a cup of the bianco and let it sit for a few hours. Garnished with a white peach slice. Improv Peche Melba Spritz!

  • Kate
    June 19, 2020 4:08pm

    This may well become my favorite drink of the summer–and this the version made with what I had on hand–frozen berries and dry Vermouth. I can only imagine it will be better with Bianco and fresh strawberries.

  • Lauren
    June 19, 2020 10:45pm

    Made this to enjoy this evening and it was delicious and refreshing. Thank you for sharing- I am always looking for ways to infuse seasonal fruits, and you are my go to for that.

  • Alison
    June 21, 2020 1:42pm

    Would this work ok with Martini or Cinzano Bianco as I am struggling to get the Dolin at a sensible price!

    • June 21, 2020 2:13pm
      David Lebovitz

      Sure! You could use bianco or blanc, or even dry vermouth.

  • Lisa
    June 21, 2020 5:02pm

    I made this last night and it was absolutely delicious. Organic strawberries from Watsonville and Dolin Blanc. How simple and how refreshing! This will be a weekly drink along with your Cranzac cookies!

  • Charissa Reid
    June 23, 2020 12:27am

    Will sweet vermouth work?

    • June 23, 2020 6:35am
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, but it would be sweeter, and darker, and the flavor would be more intense than the white vermouth.

      • June 25, 2020 5:06pm

        Thank you! I’ll try both! #whynot

  • June 24, 2020 1:58am

    Rats! As soon as I poured it over the strawberries, I realized I had picked up the wrong bottle. Oh well, I’ll let you know how strawberry infused Lillet is!

  • Joanna Johnson
    June 30, 2020 3:57am

    Absolutely delicious! David, I wanted to thank you for your book Drinking French, especially for the chapter on Aperitif drinks. All three types of Lillet and Dolin are now required in our house at all times! We modified La Bicyclette by adding lightly muddled blackberries. It is now our aperitif de la maison. Merci beacoup!

    • June 30, 2020 8:52am
      David Lebovitz

      That’s a great idea to muddle fresh blackberries in the drink – enjoy! : )

  • connie j rizzo
    June 30, 2020 9:10pm

    I don’t have access to Vermouth Bianco here in the Heartland of America but I’m really wondering about using Lillet.

    • July 1, 2020 11:39am
      David Lebovitz

      If you try it, let us know how it works out!

  • Louise
    July 1, 2020 9:26pm

    A great bartender of a sadly closed restaurant recommended La Quintinye Vermouth Royale and I just used it with ripe stawberries. The first shake smelled great. I can hardly wait until tomorrow. Thanks.

    • July 2, 2020 10:46am
      David Lebovitz

      That’s very good vermouth, made with Cognac. I like that one for sipping, chilled with an ice cube in it!

  • Cindy
    July 3, 2020 6:59pm

    This recipe is amazing. Perfect for summer. Thanks for sharing!

  • Ellen N.
    July 6, 2020 10:09pm

    Hi David,

    Thank you very much for posting this recipe. The Strawberry Spritz is delicious and it goes with any food. Also, it’s nice that it’s low alcohol. I enjoy being able to have a drink and still be productive.

    Thank you also for introducing me to Vermouth Blanc.

    FYI, this recipe isn’t in the recipe section of this website under drinks.

    Yours,

    Ellen

  • Sara
    July 7, 2020 11:21pm

    Yummmm!!! Thank you for teaching us more about vermouth and sharing creative ways to use it! The hardest part is waiting for the strawberries to soak. The saying is true, good things come to those who wait.

  • July 14, 2020 9:16pm

    Always loved Vermouth (all kinds – Dry, Blanco, Sweet), but for the past few years we have been shying away from sugar, so were drinking mostly drier Chardonnay, Bruit/Champaign My friend sent me the link to this recipe and…. It quickly became our 2020. Summer “refresher”. We loved it so much, that now infusing 1L bottle of Vermouth with lots of strawberries – all fits perfectly in our large pitcher normally used for infused water or Sangria. -:)

    Full disclosure – since my hubby and I need to stay away from sugar, we are always looking for alternatives, when possible. We played with this recipe and used Dry Vermouth instead of Blanco. Then we added Perrier / Pellegrino instead of Tonic. Thanks for reminding us how much we love Vermouth -:) Cheers.

  • Vicki Langford
    July 14, 2020 9:18pm

    Ah, Dear David, you and your charming tales have saved me during quarantine. I enjoy reading about travel and food when the stories are littered with personal experiences, and your blog and books fill every requirement. How did I miss you until now? It sort of like how I also “discovered” Frank Sinatra at my age of 62. You are a gem and a delight.

A

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