With summer fast approaching and spring finally in the air, it’s time hit the refresh button on our drink choice of the summer! Say hello to the Belvedere Spritz, the collection of long drinks has a 100% natural and low-sugar content... Yes, you read that right — a guilt-free cocktail! What could be better?
We were lucky enough to try the fabulous cocktial of the summer at the InStyle HQ. Belvedere’s new signature collection is made up of ‘twelve natural and deliciously refreshing long drinks full of fruity flavour, low in sugar and simple to create. Faithful to the popular Spritz recipe, the Belvedere Spritz is prepared with a naturally flavoured modifier, topped off with soda and tonic water, finished with two fresh garnishes.’The Belvedere Cucumber Spritz is just one of the twelve natural drinks from the signature collection, we tried out both the Cucumber Spritz and Grapefruit And Thyme Spritz and they tasted totally dreamy!
So we just had to speak to Ali Dedianko, head of spirit education at Belvedere to find our more about this natural spritz...
What are your thoughts on popular alternative sweeteners such as agave?
'We are very anti agave and the conversation around agave is an interesting one. It’s been a hot button topic for us for couple of years now and this is really why this naturalness project was born. There is this idea that agave is naturaI, it comes from the earth and it comes from a plant so surely is must be better for you? But actually that’s not the case. Agave is made up of 90% fructose compared to normal table sugar which is only 50%, so when you think about the stress that it puts on your liver.'
So when you think about your sugar molecule in your average sugar, its sucrose right?
Sucrose is made up of two molecules, so you have the fructose half and the glucose half. Our bodies need glucose to survive, you need it for energy. The fructose half of it — fructose is sugar that comes from fruit, there’s a perception that if you’re eating fruit, the fructose part of the molecule is processed by the liver and your body doesn’t need it or use it. What else is process by your liver? Alcohol.'
What do you think of the juice craze?
We’re not anti-juices, we’re anti-fruit juice. We have always said juice your vegetables and blend or eat your fruit. Whenever we use fruit in Belvedere recipes, we try to use the whole fruit. We will use very small amounts of citrus fruits, maybe a splash of fruit juice here and there but we would never advocate for a vodka orange juice or a vodka apple juice simply because it is a drink that is very hard for your liver to process.
We're all kinda over the vodka lime and soda combo, what's your go to low sugar drink to order on a night out?
The ethos of the spritz is, we’re careful not to say it's healthy but it's better in terms of your average vodka tonic. We have soda in there because we are trying to lower the sugar content that we have in the drink. If you’re in a pub where they're not going to do a cocktail, I would recommend asking for a Belvedere and soda with a splash of pink grapefruit juice. That bit of juice is going to give you that little bit of sweetness and tartness but it's still going to be very low in sugar. But it's just that bit more exciting!
Who's your dream person to make a cocktail for?
I once made a margarita for Paul McCartney! I didn't know I was making it for him, he had done a concert at Madison Square Garden and he had a post-concert party at our bar. Someone else ordered the drink for him and I made it, then the guy turned around and handed it to Paul McCartney and I was like OH MAN!
What are some of your favourite bars in London?
What's your guily pleasure cocktail?
Probably an expresso martini, if it's made properly it can acually be relatively healthy — just chilled expresso, vodka and a dash of sugar. It doesn't have to be made with liquers, it can acually be a very low sugar cocktail — it just depends on who's making it.
One of InStyle's favorite foodies is all about the The Belvedere Spritz too...
Make your own Belvedere Spritz following these simple steps below:
The Signature Cocktail Recipe: The Belvedere Spritz
30 ml Belvedere
30 ml Lillet Blanc
70 ml Fever Tree Tonic Water
70 ml Fever Tree Soda Water
2 Grapefruit slices 1 Sprig of thyme
Combine Belvedere, Lillet Blanc, a Belvedere Spritz glass, filled with ice, stir ingredients.
Top with half Fever Tree Tonic and Fever Tree Soda Water.
Garnish with thyme and 2 slices of Pink Grapefruit
One to watch out for: Belvedre are taking over the Hoxton, Shoreditch
From May 10th-14th, Belvedere are opening The Belvedere Balance Bar where they will be lanching their new cocktail collection — ‘An urban escape that encourages work / life balance in our busy lives, Belvedere will be hosting a selection of wellness activities that will run alongside the bar in a beautiful secret garden setting.
Tickets for classes are £15 and a Spritz is included in the ticket price. Guests can also take part in a Spritz masterclass for £10, which includes a cocktail.