Alie & Georgia: Sit Back and Relax with an Aperol Spritz

06/19/2014 at 03:16 PM ET


Rolfo Eclaire/Getty; Inset:Taylor Hill/Getty

Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark, a.k.a. Alie & Georgia, host Cooking Channel food-travel series Tripping Out with Alie & Georgia. Visit PEOPLE.com every Thursday for their playful spins on celebrity recipes, cocktails, entertaining ideas—and, of course, lots of laughs!

If we have any advice for cocktailers this summer it’s: SPRITZ IT UP. This merits the aggressive all-caps because it’s imperative, guys. There is no better time than a season of long days and warm nights to indulge in a hydrating, fizzy delicious spritzer.

Now, if you hear the word spritzer and immediately think of a bottled blue raspberry-flavored wine cooler guzzled behind a dumpster by teenagers, please recalibrate your expectations. Get them out of the gutter, because a spritzer is ever-so-different from a wine cooler.

“Wine coolers” are usually malt liquor and sugar water, plus a little food coloring and some shame. But a “wine spritzer” is a refreshing Austrian cocktail of wine and sparkling water. A “spritz” is the Italian version made with sparkling wine, liqueur and a little seltzer. The European versions are as fun as they are sophisticated. Let’s follow their lead.

Bonus: Spritzy things offer some great opportunities to play around with ingredients and flavors, and because they have a little more water content and less alcohol, you can sip them leisurely without getting sloppy. Here’s how to make a wine spritzer and one of our favorite cocktails, an Aperol spritz. In no time, you’ll be enjoying one of these on a patio and gently lecturing your friends about how spritzing is the way of the future.

SPRITZER
You need three things to make a spritzer: white wine, sparkling water and ice. Does life get any easier? Nope. We like a nice crisp white like a pinot grigio, but the beauty of the wine spritzer is that it’s nearly foolproof. You also don’t have to precisely measure anything. You can do a rough 1:1 ratio of sparkling water to wine, or for a less boozy thirst quencher, up the water.

If you feel like getting creative, toss in a citrus garnish, like a grapefruit peel, or try a sprig of mint. You can also sweeten the deal with an extra splash of booze like St. Germain, an elderflower liqueur. Have some bitters in the cabinet? Add a dash or two. Opportunity is on your side. Failure is unlikely.

SPRITZ
Now, a spritz is simply a sparkling wine (like Champagne or prosecco) plus ice and a splash of aperitif liqueur (like Campari) topped with a little sparkling water. Our favorite spritz might be one made with Aperol, which is a citrusy, bitter-but-sweet Italian liqueur similar to Campari but with a lower alcohol content. Keep an eye open for this wonderful stuff, which growing in popularity among the craft cocktail set.

Aperol Spritz 

3 parts prosecco
2 parts Aperol
1 splash soda
Orange wedge, for garnish

Add prosecco, Aperol and a splash of soda to a glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange wedge. Donezo.

Finally, if you’re a die-hard red wine drinker and you’re feeling left out of the mix, check out our recipe for a Sweetish Summer Spritzer — it’s like glogg and sangria had a wonderful, beautiful baby. Happy sipping.

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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Healthy tip

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health tips