It’s Peak Spritz Season in Philly

Sure, the Aperol Spritz is an icon — but Philadelphia bartenders are getting creative with the bubbly, aperitif-based cocktail. Here are some of our favorite spots in the city to sip one.

aperol spritz philadelphia

Smoked Eggplant Spritz at Friday Saturday Sunday | Photo by Paul MacDonald

When it’s hot and sticky outside, there’s no cocktail we crave more than a bubbly, bittersweet spritz. While the go-to Aperol spritz has reached near-iconic status when it comes to summer sips, the drink is a formula, not a recipe — a blend of herbaceous aperitif, flavorings fruity or otherwise, sparkling wine, and seltzer — with nearly endless combinations and additions to play with. Here are our favorite spots to cool off and chill out with a spritz in Philadelphia.

philadelphia cocktails

Pretty Good Looking at Abe Fisher

Abe Fisher, Center City
The cool, dark bar at Abe Fisher is where we want to be on a hot summer evening — ideally sipping on a Pretty Good Looking, a blend of cherry, almond, and quinine-infused spirit Maurin Quina, Cocchi Americano, triple sec, and house-made bitters infused with coffee and chocolate.

Friday Saturday Sunday, Rittenhouse
The bar at FSS gets an unexpected ingredient assist from the upstairs kitchen for their Smoked Eggplant Spritz. After infusing that smoked eggplant into a simple syrup, it’s blended with blanco tequila, red wine-based aperitivo Cappelletti, lime, and a splash of soda.

Philadelphia Distilling, Northern Liberties
The Elderflower Spritz uses the distillery’s new Bluecoat Elderflower gin as its base, with a clementine aperitif and sweet-dry blanc vermouth for a bright, bitter, herbaceous boost. It’s finished with sparkling cider rather than sparkling wine and topped off with an edible flower.

spritz philadelphia

Contratto Spritz at Zavino University City

Zavino, University City
The wine bar’s west-of-the-Schuylkill outpost highlights citrusy aperitif Contratto with their Contratto Spritz; the liqueur is infused with a blend of 28 different botanicals including sweet and bitter oranges. Made to be mixed, it’s a refreshing, bubbly cooler when topped off with sparkling wine, seltzer, and a slice of candied orange.

Good King Tavern, Bella Vista
Choose your own French-inspired spritz adventure: for a richer, anise-infused beverage, try the Marseille, After Noon — made with Ricard pastis, pistachio orgeat, lime, and sparkling wine. Feeling something fruity and floral instead? Order the Beauregarde, which combines blueberry shrub, Aperol, St-Germain, and seltzer.

Bloomsday, Society Hill
Choose from a slate of three spritzes on the new Headhouse Square spot’s cocktail menu: the Fruit Parfait, a blend of Aperol, hibiscus, lime juice, and prosecco; the Rich Kitsch, which combines Cocchi Rosa with kumquat shrub, yuzu juice, and prosecco with powdered Campari; or the tropical Born Feral, made with tequila, honeydew-avocado juice, and bubbly.

summer cocktail philadelphia

Garden Spritz at La Peg

La Peg, Old City
Savory rather than sweet summer produce is the inspiration for the Garden Spritz: delicate tomato water is blended with refreshing cucumber-mint vodka, with bubbles courtesy of  both champagne and soda.

Kensington Quarters, Fishtown
Craving a cooling, effervescent drink but want to try something new? Try KQ’s new build-your-own spritz option, a customizable batch cocktail available only on their outdoor patio this summer. You and your friends can choose your favorite aperitif, citrus juices, and infused syrups for a refreshing spritz to cool a crowd.

Barbuzzo, Midtown Village
Keep it simple with Barbuzzo’s Grapefruit Spritz, a refreshing, sweet-bitter mix of Aperol, fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, sparkling wine, and bubbly water.

Suraya, Fishtown
The Market Spritz at Suraya just might be the prettiest of them all (and are we really surprised?). This pink-hued concoction on the Levantine restaurant’s weekend brunch menu blends gin, citrusy Contratto, rose water, lemon, and a splash of dry sparkling wine — with a sprig of rosemary and a sprinkle of dried rose petals to finish, of course.

Garage, East Passyunk
We drink beer cocktails — why not a beer-boosted spritz? Order up the Hazy Daisy, made with gin, Aperol, orange, and bubbles courtesy of 2SP Brewing’s hazy, hoppy Up & Out New England-style IPA instead of sparkling wine.

spritz cocktail philadelphia

Rosé Aperol Punch at Jet Wine Bar

Jet Wine Bar, Graduate Hospital
Two trendy summer drinks come together in one with the Rosé Aperol Punch, available indoors at the bar and outside at Jet’s new wine garden. The wine and apero get a tropical boost from passionfruit and lime, plus club soda to add a little sparkle.

Bistrot La Minette, Queen Village
Peter Woolsey’s classic French restaurant serves not one but two takes on the sprits at its bar: The Aperol Peggy is freshened with orange and grapefruit juices and given effervescence by prosecco. Their Amour et Amer — a more sippable version of a White Negroni — includes bitter, gentian-forward Suze, lemon juice, St-Germain elderflower liqueur, and a dose of dry, spicy Dolin vermouth. Minus the bubbles, it’s a spritz in spirit.

Pizzeria Vetri, Fairmount, Center City, and King of Prussia
Order up a citrusy summertime sipper to complement your brick-oven pies: the Lemoncello Spritz, made with lemoncello, Italian bubbly, and lemon, or the Orangecello spritz, made with orangecello, bubbles, and orange juice.