A Toast

The Easy Going Spritz

A drink from The Clumsies in Athens.

The bar’s concept is ‘perfect imperfection,’ a modest theme for a drinks program that’s put The Clumsies in the top 10 of the World’s Best Bars since 2016.

The Easy Going Spritz, much like Athens bar The Clumsies, contains a few gentle contradictions. This spritz is a simple recipe that you can mix within the glass, no special tools or techniques needed. But each flavor is delicate enough that substitutions to its parts transform it into an entirely different (still delicious) cocktail. There are precise directions for making a single cocktail — exactly seven mint leaves — but you can throw the ingredients together for a solitary drink at home, or easily scale it up to host a crowd. Clumsies co-owners Vasilis Kyritsis and Nikos Bakoulis want their visitors to feel at home, most of all. The bar’s concept is “perfect imperfection,” a modest theme for a drinks program that’s put The Clumsies in the top 10 of the World’s Best Bars since 2016.

The goal of this spritz was to take something relaxed and easygoing and create something “even more easygoing,” Kyritsis says. The keys? First, replace the classic Italian spritz’s bitter liqueur with the delicate floral flavor of elderflower. This liqueur is lightly flavored, almost more scent than taste, even when compared to other florals like violette or rose. Second, use tonic water instead of Champagne or Prosecco.

Almost all of the work involved in the Easy Going Spritz is devoted to tracking down the correct ingredients. You can go with more common ingredients, but sticking close to the recipe will reveal its subtleties. The Mediterranean tonic contains less quinine than usual, as well as minerals from the Mediterranean Sea. If you can’t find it, though, Kyritsis recommends “a citrusy tonic so you can have the essence of freshness to your mouth when you taste it.” Kyritsis uses agave instead of honey, for two reasons. The first is that it’s vegan-friendly. He also says that agave has “more neutral sweetness than honey. Its flavor changes depending on the variety from country to country.” Once you have your bar stocked, Kyritsis’ creation comes together effortlessly: just combine in a glass and stir. He adds one more serving suggestion: “Stay close to the sea and enjoy it.”

Easy Going Spritz

Ingredients

  • 1 ⅔ oz of elderflower liqueur
  • ⅓ oz of salted agave
  • 7 of mint leaves
  • top up of Mediterranean tonic

Directions

  1. Preparation: salted agave For every 16 oz, add 1 ¼ tsp salt and mix until dissolved. If your honey is very thick, add 1 ⅔ oz of water.
  2. Add all ingredients into a wine glass and stir gently. Garnish with a lemon peel.
Our Contributors

Jessica Suarez Writer

Jessica Suarez is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York.

Grant Cornett Photographer

Grant Cornett is a photographer and director based in Upstate New York. He likes to take pictures of pristine detritus and austere moments.

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