The Gentleman's Summer Cocktail

The ultra-cool, low-octane tipple that's made for day drinking.

Spritz Cocktails

Summer Cocktail

The ultra-cool, low-octane tipple that's made for day drinking.

It's a classic cocktail that's legitimately old school. Europeans have been sipping on refreshing spritzes for over a century. The perfect aperitivo, the sparkling cocktails are a little bit sweet and a little bit herbaceous with a touch of effervescence. And since they're relatively low in alcohol, you can happily put back a few without getting yourself into trouble. Which is why it's become the drink of choice for many discerning gentlemen—particularly during summer. What's more, a spritz is one of the simplest drinks to make at home. They require limited ingredients and come together in a snap. Which is good because they tend to go down fast. Here are three riffs on the spritz to start mixing up immediately.

Aperol Spritz


The OG of spritzes. Several Italian regions lay claim to the origins, and the proportions and ingredients differ from area to area. We like how the Venetians stick to Aperol and Prosecco.

Aperol Spritz Cocktail Recipe





Prosecco, chilled

Sparkling mineral water, chilled


Orange slice


  • Add a few large ice cubes to a wine glass, then follow with the Aperol and Prosecco.
  • Top with sparkling water.
  • Garnish with an orange slice.

Pimm's Spritz


From Houston's Tongue Cut Sparrow, this is a simpler alternative to the classic Pimm's Cup but still packs a punch.

Pimm's Spritz Cocktail Recipe



Fresh lemon juice


Simple syrup

Champagne, to top


  • Dry shake (no ice) to mix.
  • Pour into a 12-oz tulip glass packed with ice (preferably crushed) and slices of cucumber and citrus like lemon or orange.
  • Top with Champagne.

La Quebrada Spritz


This recipe, from Brooklyn's Montana's Trail House, mixes the smoke and spice of mezcal with the bracing sweetness of Aperol.

La Quebrada Spritz Cocktail Recipe





Grapefruit juice

Grapefruit twist

Sparkling white wine (dry cava or prosecco), to top


  • In a cocktail shaker three-quarters filled with ice, add crema de mezcal, Aperol and grapefruit juice.
  • Strain into a wine glass with a few ice cubes.
  • Squeeze grapefruit twist over the glass and drop it in.
Spritz by Talia Baiocchi

Further Reading

Talia Baiocchi's narrative-driven book (Spritz, $12.78) reveals the surprising history and current revival of spritz cocktails, with 50 recipes, including both historical classics and modern updates.