It’s Officially Spritz Season in Philly
From the classic Italian aperitivo to all kinds of fizzy, refreshing cocktails, this is the time to drink a spritz in Philadelphia.
Aperol spritzes can be very disappointing. We’ve probably all had that experience of feeling the summer vibes, ordering an aperol spritz with visions of refreshing, sparkling cocktails, only to get something that watered down, too sweet, and not chilled enough. But when a spritz is good, it’s excellent. Italian have been drinking spritzes for generations, perfecting the balance of ice cubes, bitter aperitifs, and sparkling wine, and if there’s any cuisine Philly knows, it’s Italian. That’s why it’s no surprise that Philly is full of excellent spritzes (and even some pretty good aperol spritzes) that are ready to transport you to the Italian Riviera and beyond.
Friday Saturday Sunday, Rittenhouse Square
To make the smoked eggplant spritz at Friday Saturday Sunday, they infuse smoked eggplant into simple syrup, then serve it in an icey glass with black tequila, Cappelletti (a slightly bitter, herbal Italian aperitif) and a splash of soda. It’s the perfect drink to get your appetite going for Friday Saturday Sunday’s epic tasting menu.
Fiore Fine Foods, Old City
Creme de Violette is a classic ingredient in an Aviation cocktail, but the floral, lavender-colored liqueur is perfect in a spritz that transitions nicely from spring to summer. Fiore makes a Creme de Violette spritz, along with a just-as-excellent aperol spritz.
Philadelphia Distilling, Northern Liberties
Philadelphia Distilling combines their Bluecoat American Dry Gin with tropical flavors like pineapple, guava, mango and lime for a spritz that flips the typical flavor profile on its head. Try the People’s Verdict in their tasting room or as a to-go cocktail.
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Remember large-format cocktails? Neither do we. But Suraya does, and they’re serving up the Spirits Rebellious, a 2-4 serving behemoth of aperol, white vermouth, and a dry sparkling wine.
Jet Wine Bar, South Street
Leave it to Jet Wine Bar to take something well-known and give it a delightful twist. Their Aperol spritz is made with a squirt of lime and a substitution of sparkling rose instead of white, which makes the whole thing just that much more fun.
R&D Cocktail Bar, Fishtown
We like pretty much everything that R&D does, and their current spritz is no exception. Called Stop Yelling, Val, it’s a tequila spritz mixed in a Red Bull Watermelon can with Cappelletti, white vermouth, and cava.
Martha, East Kensington
Martha’s Sakura Spritz features locally foraged ingredients including cherry blossoms and linden flowers for a springy, relaxing vibe, plus New Liberties Powderhorn Vodka, Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, Aperol and sparkling wine.
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The Lunar Inn, Port Richmond
The Lunar Inn (also known as Tiny’s Bottle Shop) know all about wine, which is why it’s no surprise their spritz is excellent. They use Lo-Fi Aperitif’s Gentian Amaro, which is refreshingly floral and appealingly bitter, plus sparkling wine and club soda.
Louie Louie, West Philly
Louie Louie’s White Cosmopolitan combine citrus vodka with agave, white cranberry, and sparkling wine for a stronger-than-it-might-seem cocktail.
Trattoria Carina, Fitler Square
For the classic Aperol spritz experience, head to Trattoria Carina for a quaint, distinctly European vibe, gorgeous plates of pasta, and a very cold, nicely made Aperol Spritz.