The fröccs (spritzer, wine with soda) is a beloved and versatile beverage that can be drunk in every season. The watered down version of wine has grown to be a Hungaricum, however, most people get confused when bartenders ask what kind of fröccs they’d like. But don’t worry, collected everything you need to know about this special drink.

The wine

Let’s start with the basics, which is the alcohol. Despite certain beliefs and rumours, you can’t make fröccs with any kind of wines, and you shouldn’t opt for the cheapest versions when choosing the base for your drink. Even though it is cost-effective, soda won’t make cheap wines taste any better. Not to mention the horrible headache it causes the next day, even if you drink water along the way.

The best fröccs is usually made from white or rosé wines. Red wine is a rare choice, but it can also work out sometimes. Sparkling wine is a great thing, but it’s better left out from fröccs, just like full, long-mellowed wines. However, it is important that the wine should be cold when the soda is added, because ice-cubes don’t go well with any wine creations.

The soda

Yes, soda, not sparkling water. At least, traditionally. Of course the chances of finding soda siphons in small shops are quite minimal, but you should watch out for buying green capped water instead of the blue capped sparkling ones. You can strike a snag if you accidentally buy flavoured water or even worse, water enriched with minerals. Try to keep these away from wines.

The mixing

You’ve found the perfect wine and soda, so what’s next? Naturally the making and mixing of the drink. This is the part which is highly recommended for those who are mostly hesitating in front of the bar: here are the proportions and their most common names.

  • Kisfröccs (or rövidlépés, fütty ~ small fröccs/small step/whistle) – 1 dl wine, 1 dl soda
  • Nagyfröccs (or hajtás, húzás ~ big fröccs/drive/draw) – 2 dl wine, 1 dl soda
  • Hosszúlépés (~long step) – 1 dl wine, 2 dl soda
  • Házmester (~janitor) – 3 dl wine, 2 dl soda
  • Vice-házmester (~underjanitor) – 2 dl wine, 3 dl soda
  • Háziúr (~landlord) – 4 dl wine, 1 dl soda
  • Albérlő ( or Sportfröccs ~underlessee/sport fröccs) – 1 dl wine, 4 dl soda
  • Magyar-angol (~Hungarian-English) – 6 dl wine, 3 dl soda

Moreover, there are interesting mixtures that you won’t really find at bars, but it’s good to know about them. Some of them are the Krúdy fröccs, which is made from 9 dl wine and 1 dl soda (according to Hungarian writer Gyula Krúdy, 10% raises a laugh), Csatos (~buckled), which is made from 10 dl water and 5 dl wine strictly in the bottle of sparkling water, and the opposite, Lámpás (~lantern), made from 10 dl wine and 5 dl water.


The serving

Fröccs is the simple drink of simple people. It doesn’t necessitate crystal glass, miniature sunshade, colouring or a straw. It tastes good when drunk from any type of glass depending on the occasion. On special occasions, you can decorate or flavour it with fruits or flowers. And even though using ice-cubes is not so authentic, sometimes the weather or the scene yearns for it.

Other countries

Although fröccs is measured seriously in even the smallest Hungarian pubs, you’ll probably get only a smile from waiters abroad, when you try to explain the importance of mixing. But if you’re still determined to drink fröccs abroad, try repeating “wine spritzer” or “Gemischt, Weinschorle, Sauergespritzer” when in German regions.

The timing

What is the best time to drink a fröccs? Basically, you can drink it anytime. However, it’s not an accident that it became famous as a summer drink, because it feels the best in warm weather due to it coldness and lightness. But keep in mind that it’s a tricky drink: even though its alcohol content is low, it goes to your head easily due to the soda. Cheers!

Featured image:

Ce: bm


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