I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that spritzes make the best pre-dinner drinks ever. Refreshing, not too sweet, not too alcoholic and easy to make - and even easier to drink.
At an Australian Christmas lunch or dinner, this twist on an Aperol spritz is the perfect cool choice to get people feeling festive but not dangerously so. It's a lovely Christmassy red and the tart cranberry goes with the bitter orange of the Aperol so well. You can make this into a longer drink by topping up with soda - which stops you knocking back too much of the hard stuff on a scorching summer's day before lunch. We want to try to keep ourselves nice till dessert, at least.
Makes 8-10 spritzes
375ml cranberry juice
Soda, to taste
Ice cubes and orange slices (blood orange is really nice) to serve
To make life easier, especially if you're making this for a crowd, premix the cranberry and Aperol in a jug.
Half fill a glass with ice cubes and pour over 90ml of the cranberry-Aperol mix. Top up with a similar amount of prosecco and add soda if you'd like a longer drink. Give it a gentle swizzle to mix, finish with a slice of orange and serve.
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