All Berry, No Seeds: The Secret to a Great Raspberry Spritz

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[Photographs: Elana Lepkowski]

One of the best parts about late spring/early summer: berry season. One of the worst parts about berry season: picking seeds out of your teeth. (Stuck popcorn kernels, you're next on my list.) Every year I forget my pet peeve, run to the farmers market, and buy up pints and pints of raspberries, blackberries, and whatever new hybrid has been developed like some kind of berry hoarder. Then when I get home, shove that first handful into my mouth, and bite down, I remember: I hate those seeds.

And sadly, after that, I'd let my berries sit, uneaten. But I have a new strategy this year: making berry syrups. That way I get to hold on to my berries for as long as possible, and handily solve the problem of chomping on seeds while you sip your drink.

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A low alcohol drink is ideal at brunch alongside a plate of French toast, and even better at a humid summer party or whenever you're trying to make your drinking hours last longer. This variation on the classic Spritz starts with an easy raspberry syrup with a touch of mint, and then lightens everything up with some bittersweet Cocchi Americano and bubbles. Nothing against Aperol, but it's nice to mix it up every once in awhile, right?

There may be berries in this drink, but it's far from sticky sweet: this Raspberry Spritz is really a dry, slightly earthy cocktail with a little zing. Sure, it's pink, but the Cocchi Americano has a lovely bitterness that moves throughout with the help of the sparkling wine and club soda.

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