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Spritzer is derived from the variant of the German language spoken in Austria, where the drink is very popular. It is used alongside the equally common form Gespritzter (mostly pronounced G'spritzter, a noun derived from the past participle of spritzen, i.e. squirt), a term also found in some German regions, such as Hessen (e.g. Süssgespritzter, i.e. a "sweet spritzer" using fizzy lemonade instead of soda water (Sauergespritzter)). In most of Germany, the word "Schorle" is used to denote a Spritzer.
The word comes from the German spritzen "spatter, squirt, spray, sprinkle", i.e. adding water and thus diluting the wine so that it can be consumed in larger, thirst-quenching amounts.
Alcoholic spritzers are increasingly available ready-mixed in cans; their relatively low alcohol and calorific content means they are often marketed at women.
In Hessen, "gespritzt" usually refers to a mixture of soda water or lemonade and Apfelwein (in Central Hessian dialect, Ebblwoi), an alcoholic drink from fermented apple juice somewhat similar to dry hard cider.
In Hungary spritzer is called 'fröccs' (pronounced similar to the surname of famous British boxer Carl Froch) and is very popular. There are dozens of different types of spritzer. They are distinguished by the proportion of wine and carbonated water or the type of other liquids added. Examples (the list is not exhaustive) include:
- Kisfröccs or Fütty ('short spritzer' or whistle), made with 1dl of wine and 1dl of carbonated soda water;
- Nagyfröccs ('full spritzer'), made with 2dl of wine and 1dl of carbonated soda water;
- Hosszúlépés ('long step'), made with 1dl of wine and 2dl of carbonated soda water;
- Házmester ('concierge'), made with 3dl of wine and 2dl of carbonated soda water;
- Háziúr ('landlord spritzer'), made with 4dl of wine and 1dl of carbonated soda water;
- Viceházmester ('vice concierge'), made with 2dl of wine and 3dl of carbonated soda water;
- Sportfröccs ('sport spritzer'), made with 1dl of wine and 4dl of carbonated soda water;
- Újházy fröcss ('Ujhazy spritzer'), made with 2dl of wine and a special pickle juice; and,
- Macifröccs ('teddy bear spritzer'), made with red wine, soda and raspberry syrup.
Other variations include: şpriţ de vară (or "summer spritzer") in Romania (1 part white wine to 2 parts sparkling water), Spritzer in Slovenia (wine and the popular domestic mineral water Radenska), "špricer" in Serbia (white wine or rosé, mixed with sparkling water, half of glass of each). In Croatia, a popular drink called gemišt is mixed with white wine and sparkling water to taste.
In north-eastern regions of Italy, especially Venice and surroundings, a spritz is a popular light cocktail, a mix of sparkling white wine (e.g., Prosecco), sparkling water, and Aperol, Bitter Campari, or other colored alcohols.
In the United States, some non-alcoholic carbonated juices are sold as spritzers. The same type of carbonated juice (actually made with juice and carbonated mineral water) is known in Germany as Saftschorle or Fruchtschorle. (Both short for rarely used Fruchtsaftschorle.) Particularly Apfelschorle (apple juice spritzer) is one of the most popular soft drinks in Germany. In Austria Apfelschorle is called Apfelsaft g'spritzt. ... g'spritzt can be combined with every juice, e.g. Orangensaft g'spritzt or Pago/Cappy g'spritzt (producers of juices).
- Media related to Spritzer at Wikimedia Commons