Food & Drink

The 5 Best Spritzes in NYC

Aperol Spritzes were knocked down a peg in a piece published by the paper of record earlier this summer, but the bittersweet, bright orange libation remains as popular as ever. The fizzy, ice-packed, sunset-hued concoction is easy to sip in the humidity, so naturally NYC mixologists are riffing on the classic combo of bubbly and an aperitif to create tipples to please every palate. Aperol or none at all, these are the five best spritzes in NYC.

Gemelli's Steady Meletti
Steady Meletti | Courtesy of Gemelli

Steady Meletti at Gemelli

Bushwick
This new Italian-inspired fantasia of homemade pasta and vegetarian meatballs has raised the spritz ante. The Steady Meletti focuses on the less-sweet notes of an Italian aperitif, subbing in licorice-esque amaro for Aperol and balancing the bitterness with perky prosecco and soda. Visit on weekdays before 8pm when a range of spritzes plus your choice of small plate go for $10.

Via Carota's Americano
Americano | Courtesy of Via Carota

Americano at Via Carota

West Village
You’ll surely have to wait a few for a table, but if the stars align you might just be able to sidle up to the bar to savor a spritz and slurp up the city’s most famous cacio e pepe. The Americano stands out amid Via Carots’s three spritzes. Campari (which has roughly twice as much alcohol by volume as its cousin, Aperol), Antica Formula vermouth and a splash of seltzer balance this sipper that goes down easy all year round. Missing Aperol? Head across the street to Via Carota’s new sibling, Bar Pisellino, where sparkling Aperol Spritzes are served on tap. 

Manhattan Avenue Spritz
Manhattan Avenue Spritz | Courtesy of Cherry Point

Manhattan Avenue Spritz at Cherry Point

Greenpoint
Before you dip into the martini menu at this upscale gastropub beloved by in-the-know north Brooklynites, take a few sips of the day drinking section. The sophisticated Manhattan Avenue Spritz plays with the concept of a bitter, sparkling cocktail by balancing contratto (a Campari-like liqueur, infused with 24 herbs and spices, plus beet for a natural reddish hue) with tangy hopped grapefruit bitters and a nice splash of bubbly.

Dante's Bicicleta on Draught
Bicicleta | Courtesy of Dante

Bicicleta on Draught at Dante

Greenwich Village
Dante’s whole #summerofspritz menu makes the cut: The Aperol spritz on draught, the big batch shareable Al Fresco spritz with gin and St. Germain, the Summer 2019 mezcal-based spritz mixed with watermelon and rose… Tasting through the menu is highly encouraged, but if you just have time to drop by the bar for one drink, go for the Bicicleta, an on tap Campari cocktail that’s “violently” carbonated like a bitter, alcoholic soda. If you’re totally spritzed out, the Garibaldi is delightful combo of fresh pressed orange juice and Campari. It’s a slightly foamy, two ingredient wonder vying for the title of perfect summer drink.

summer day's frozen Aperol Spritz
Frozen Aperol Spritz | Courtesy of Summer Day

Frozen Aperol Spritz at Summer Day

Tribeca
Frosé more your speed? This slushy in a glass remixes the Aperol spritz as a frosty, drinkable frozen dessert. Sparkling cava subs in for Prosecco here, and you’ll definitely need a straw to suck up all the chilly sweetness.

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Melissa is a writer based in NYC. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.