During my semester abroad, one of my favorite pit-stops had to be Italy. From the coastal town of Sorrento to gorgeous Florence, the food, wine, art, and warm weather were truly unbeatable. And if you're looking to transport yourself back to those cobblestone streets and beautiful beaches, this new canned Mezzo Spritz with Virtue Cider is here just in time for summer. If you haven't already tried it, picture a low ABV version of your favorite Italian sip. Sì, grazie!
If you've ever had the opportunity to sip anything from Virtue Cider's extensive lineup, you've most likely been relatively pleased with their range of dry and sweet options. But the Gregory Hall, the owner of the Michigan-based cider company, just created an entirely new drink called Mezzo Spritz, and if you haven't already given it a shot, it's blood orange-flavored, and it's totally different from anything Virtue has ever created. TBH, I'm really excited to try it.
Mezzo Spritz is based on the aperol spritz — a classic Italian aperitif — but it's made with Virtue Cider which adds a slight American twist, according to a press release. Combining the cider with sparkling water and refreshing botanicals makes for a light and bubbly drink, evoking light floral notes and subtle hints of juicy blood orange, with a cocktail bitters finish at the end. And with 3.5 percent ABV, Mezzo Spritz amounts to half the ABV as the traditional spritz cocktail, which is why they used the word "Mezzo" in the name — in Italian, "mezzo" means half #TheMoreYouKnow, am I right?
Anyway, it seems like this was a total unexpected creation from Virtue Cider. According to the press release, Hall was randomly inspired to create the Mezzo Spritz when he playing around with Virtue Cider, and he decided to add orange bitters out of the blue. They developed it into what it is today, and he now labels it as a "go-to lunch-friendly drink."
In the press release, Hall said:
We’re always drinking cider, and we were playing around with what to do with it. We put some bitters in there, thought it was good, put some orange bitters in there, and that was really good, then we put some sparkling water in there, and that was just great. It became our go-to lunch-friendly drink.
Virtue Cider offers three ways to enjoy their new RTD beverage available : sip it straight out of the can, over ice, or mixed into a cocktail. If you're interested in trying it for yourself, the drink is available as of March 20 in 12-ounce six pack cans in select retailers throughout Illinois, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington, California, Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, and Minnesota, according to Mezzo Spritz. You can also find it on Instacart, and it will soon be coming to Drizly, per the brand.
I don't know about you, but Virtue's Mezzo Spritz is about to be a bar-cart staple in my apartment this summer. Whether I'm using it as a mixer or if I'm sipping it on its own, it sounds wildly refreshing and not too heavy. Boasting half the ABV of a regular aperol spritz, it basically sounds like all I want on a hot summer day. Molto bene.