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Cool Down With These 6 Refreshing Spritz Cocktails From Austin Bars

Cheers to these top on-trend summer sippers around Austin

InPlainSight Spritz2
(photo courtesy of In Plain Sight)

When intense summer heat settles over Austin, many of us start craving light and chilled cocktails with relatively-low alcohol contents. That’s why Spritzes, a classic Italian cocktail category, are such an ideal choice for sweltering days and nights. These wine-based libations prove a refreshing way to cool down, and the bubbles that define a Spritz can make even a quiet Tuesday evening feel festive and fun. These six lively Austin Spritzes are prime examples of what makes these on-trend sippers such a seasonal favorite.

Lolo Wine Bar (photo by Julia Keim)

C&T at LoLo

The Aperol Spritz, made with Aperol (a bittersweet herbal Italian liqueur), Prosecco (sparkling wine from northern Italy), and a soda water topper, deserves recognition as the drink that launched the Spritz trend. Its ingredients provide a perfect balance of flavors and a whimsical texture from the bubbles. While you can find a classic Aperol Spritz at many Austin bars and restaurants, the version served at East Austin natural wine bar LoLo gives this aperitivo staple a cool-kid twist. Instead of Aperol, LoLo’s C&T features Cappelletti, another Italian liqueur that’s slightly less sweet and more herb-forward. The C&T also trades in Prosecco for Trebbiano Pét-Nat, a style of wine made with Italian white grapes and natural carbonation. The Pét-Nat brings a hint of funk, which works with the bitterness of the Cappelletti to create a spin on the Aperol Spritz that feels a bit more daring and modern (while still being perfectly refreshing and easy-drinking).

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(photo courtesy of In Plain Sight)

Spritz Carlton at In Plain Sight

The simplicity of the Aperol Spritz means that this cocktail is a prime candidate for bartender creativity; clever mixologists can customize this warm-weather favorite in countless ways. At In Plain Sight, a polished and intimate Downtown Austin cocktail bar focused on Italian-inspired libations, the Spritz Carlton adds some summery flavors to the typical Aperol Spritz formula. The team infuses Aperol with raspberries for an extra layer of fruity goodness, then incorporates Rosé Pamplemousse (a liqueur made with rosé wine and grapefruit), tart and bright yuzu juice, and a topper of sparkling wine and soda water. Fresh, fizzy, and very photogenic!

(photo courtesy of Numero 28)

Hugo at Numero28

Avid TikTokers are likely already aware of the Hugo Spritz, which the social platform has declared the “drink of the summer” for 2023. As its base, this au courant cocktail uses elderflower liqueur, an aromatic spirit with notes of flowers, herbs, and fruit. The Hugo Spritz also incorporates fresh mint leaves, Prosecco, lime juice, and soda water. For Austinites looking to get in on the trend, this sweet and fragrant libation is available at Numero28, an Italian trattoria in Downtown Austin. Grab a Hugo Spritz, order a plate of pasta, and pretend that you’re in Southern Italy.

refreshing cocktails at Dovetail Pizza (photo courtesy of Dovetail Pizza)

Fitz Italiano at DoveTail Pizza

Dovetail Pizza on South 1st Street specializes in thin-crust pizzas (their team describes them as “between Neapolitan and New York style”) and a series of beverages designed to pair excellently with these pies. They pay special attention to Spritzes; in fact, their devotion to the Spritz is so powerful that they hosted their very own “Spritz Fest” earlier this summer. The Dovetail Spritz to watch is the Fizz Italiano with Luxardo maraschino liqueur for fruity sweetness, citrus for a bit of tart contrast, fizzy soda water, and gin as the anchor spirit. Spritzes don’t typically include hard liquor, as they’re intended to be light and low-ABV “before dinner” drinks, but the Fizz Italiano goes easy on the gin, featuring just enough to let the other flavors shine.

(photo courtesy of Kalimoxto)

Tinto de Verano at Kalimotxo

Kalimotxo, a chic tapas bar in Downtown Austin, takes its name from a popular summer drink in Spain that consists of equal parts red wine and cola. While the Kalimotxo is technically a Spritz, we tend to vibe more strongly with a different item on the bar’s menu: Tinto de Verano. Another Spanish invention, Tinto de Verano is what happens when you add citrus soda (like Sprite, Fresca, or Fanta Limón, if you can find it in the United States) to red wine and serve it with wheels of citrus fruit as a garnish. Kalimotxo’s version is crisp and crushable and a perfect pairing for olives & nuts, crudo, Spanish ham, or any of the restaurant’s other Spanish bar bites.

(photo courtesy of Laurel)

Hillside Garden at Laurel

The technical definition of “Spritz” may call for a boozy element, but we see no reason for alcohol-free drinkers to miss out on this cooling summer trend. The team at Laurel, the charming Italian-esque restaurant at Hotel Viata in West Lake Hills, fully agrees, which is why they feature the Hillside Garden on their summer cocktail menu. This drink starts with Seedlip Garden 108, a non-alcoholic spirit made with peas, hops, and herbs like rosemary and thyme, resulting in a flavor profile that perfectly matches its name. Pineapple juice and lemon juice offer zippy acidity and a touch of sweetness, while soda water provides the fizz. All in all, the Hillside Garden is an NA treat that represents everything that we love about Spritzes.

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