Listen and Cook_Verjus Spritz
A Clean Drink and a Good Listen: Make a Verjus Spritz

There are plenty of recipes for hard cocktails out there, so for this week’s Listen and Cook, we’re delighted to present an alcohol-free delight that is plenty grown up: the Verjus Spritz from Good Drinks: Alcohol-free Recipes for When You’re Not Drinking for Whatever Reason by Julia Bainbridge.

Get the recipe here: Verjus Spritz (also printed below).

And for those of you who enjoy a tipple, we haven’t forgotten you; check out this recipe for an El Diablo (a summer drink that can easily transition into a Halloween-friendly fiend).

Now that you have your bev, it’s time to relax and let your mind go places. Here are a few audiobooks that will take you miles (and miles and miles) away as you lean back and enjoy the ride.

Swept off to live in Sydney by his Australian bride, American writer Tony Horwitz longs to explore the far reaches of his adopted land. So one day, armed only with a backpack and fantasies of the open road, he hitchhikes off into the awesome emptiness of Australia’s outback. What follows is a hilarious, hair-raising ride into the hot red center of a continent so desolate that civilization dwindles to a gas pump and a pub.

In The Cubans, Anthony DePalma, a veteran reporter with years of experience in Cuba, focuses on a neighborhood across the harbor from Old Havana to dramatize the optimism as well as the enormous challenges that Cubans face: a moving snapshot of Cuba with all its contradictions as the new regime opens the gate to the capitalism that Fidel railed against for so long.

Holly FitzGerald and her husband, Fitz—married less than two years—set out on a yearlong honeymoon adventure of a lifetime, backpacking around the world. Five months into the trip their plane crash lands in Peru at a penal colony walled in by jungle, and their blissfully romantic journey turns into a terrifying nonstop labyrinth of escape and survival.

Verjus Spritz
Recipe courtesy of Good Drinks
Copyright © 2020. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Verjus Spritz

I hate to play favorites, but this is one of my go-to recipes because all it requires is the opening and pouring of three ingredients. Plus, I’m a sucker for the soft acidity of white verjus (buy Fusion brand at Since I’m being opinionated here, now might be a good time to share that I detest thin, stringy lemon twists. This garnish has been manicured: It’s peeled with a Y-peeler in order to get some real width, then trimmed on all sides, the top and bottom cut on a bias. Très chic.

COMMITMENT LEVEL • (of • • • •)

2 ounces white verjus
2 ounces soda water
2 ounces tonic water
1 lemon twist, for garnish

Combine the verjus, soda water, and tonic water in a wine or spritz glass filled with ice. Garnish with the lemon twist.

Batch for 6 Combine 1 1⁄2 cups verjus, 1 1⁄2 cups soda water, and 1 1⁄2 cups tonic water in a pitcher filled with ice. Divide among 6 wine glasses and garnish each with a lemon twist.

Hungry for more recipes and audiobook pairings? Browse our Listen and Cook posts.

*Photo credit: Alex Lau from Good Drinks