BarView – Summer Spritz

BarView Summer Spritz By Chris Murphy

If you like lounging at cafes, hanging out at our local bars, especially those with patios or even with a group of friends like I do, you are always searching for something refreshing, not too sweet, not too sour and something that I can enjoy one, two or maybe even three. My daughter Abbey and I spent some time in France and Italy this summer where it was toasty warm on a few days and I rediscovered an old traditional drink and basically made it my mission to have one when ever I sat down.

The “Spritz” is a perfect September splash of refreshment. We embarked on an world tour of Modesto and found some amazing traditional old school versions and some also some new twists of this simply refreshing drink.

We started out with our local expert on the Spritz, Paul Tremayne at Concetta (and Tresetti, and Fuzio and Preservation and more things to come). Paul explained to us, as we awaited our refreshment, “The spritz is perfect for those warm summer days, you don’t want too much sugar and you want something lower in alcohol so you don’t get dehydrated. The Spritz is perfect for this”. Paul guided us to two of our favorite aperitifs, Campari and Aperol. How many of you have seen these bottles and wondered what to make with that?

So at the counter of Concetta, we went Italian old style and we experienced the deliciousness of one shot of Aperol, 4 oz. Prosecco and a zest of Orange all served over ice. You can feel the refreshment wrap around your body. LaMarca Prosecco is a wonderful light sparking wine made in the Venice area and should be a must for your stash. Paul’s experience behind the bar, in the kitchen, with customers, and running many of our local favorite places make this one of the most educational and tasty bar stops we’ve ever made and snacked on an amazing pizza and talked food, drink all life afternoon. Felt like a couple of Italian guys sitting in Piazza San Marco, people watching all afternoon. So fun.

Next we stepped up to the bar with our friend Rod Oldfield at Surla’s. Rod has been making us tasty treats around town for years and always as something super refreshing on deck. Rod took us to to France with his idea of refreshment. Rod is a substitute teacher most of the week but shares his skills and friendship behind the bar with us and is a great addition to the Surla’s team. You can’t go wrong and Chef John’s appetizers are amazing. So Rod combined the fresh taste of a shot of Lillet with 2 oz of favorite LaMarca Prosecco, and added a spash of tonic and a twist to blow our overheated taste buds away.

Our next stop took us around the world in the other direction where we found ourselves at Raw Sushi. Melinda Jaco brings so much creativity and fun to the bar and even keeps her own stash of secret ingredients to make any regular drink special (ask for a Margarita Melinda’s Way sometime). This time, we went for the Zen refresh and started with a Zipang Sparking Sake! Out of left field, we have discovered a new favorite. 2 parts Zipang Sparking Sake with 2 parts special Hana Raspberry Sake and a few fresh raspberries were simply a mind blower. The ice cold bubbly drink is perfect and matches up so well with all of the fresh raw sushi appetizers.

Our trip around the world was amazing and we had some old school Italian sophistication at Concetta with Compari, some traditional French freshness at Surla’s with Lillet, and some other side of the world delights at Raw Sushi with sparkling Sake. Where will your world tour take you? Try this great drinks at these great local places today! Thanks Paul, Rod and Melinda for making our local cocktail scene interesting, tasty and fun.

Surla’s – 431 12th St, Modesto 209-550-5555 Concetta – 1205 J St, Modesto 209-529-3282 Raw Sushi – 1200 I St, Modesto 209-566-9560



Posted in: featured, food & drink

About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.