Spritzes are the cocktail world's rumpled linen button-down: unfussy warm-weather favorites with Italian style to spare. More a method than a kind of drink, spritzing was, as the mythos goes, born in Hapsburg-occupied northern Italy in the 19th century. It was there that Austrian soldiers introduced the practice of diluting the region's wines with a squirt (or spritz) of water to make them more pleasing to their Riesling-trained palates. Today, Italians knock back the wine-based effervescent cocktails—chief among them, prosecco tinted orange-red with the bittersweet liqueur Aperol—during the pre-dinner aperitivo hour. In America, the fatuous white wine spritzer appeared as a sort of halfhearted diet fad in the 1980s, but has since been reimagined as a chic prelude to eating or a softer alternative to heavier-hitting drinks. Whipped up with just a few ingredients, the spritz has a Technicolor genius that lies in its I-woke-up-like-this simplicity. Make your base in a large batch and set it out in a pitcher alongside a bubbly mixer for guests to add as they please. The long, lean drinks will shepherd you through the golden evening hours with ease.