9 places to find refreshing spritzes this summer in Denver

Summer is for spritzes. They’re bubbly, refreshing and usually low in ABV — qualities worth seeking out in a sunny-day sipper. Native to Italy, the birthplace of Aperol and limoncello — and where lemons grow as big as grapefruits and perfume the air along the sun-baked Amalfi Coast — spritzes are easy to find throughout Europe.

Thankfully, for “la dolce vita” in the Mile High City (and Boulder, too) there’s been an uptick in restaurants making spritzes, and riffs on the classics, central to their summer cocktail menus.

Ahead, nine spots puttin’ on the spritz this summer.


Coperta is a Southern Italian-inspired trattoria and a spot where you’ll find some of the best spritzes outside of Italy. The perfect spritz is all about balancing sugar with acid (like citrus) that pairs well with sparkling wine. “At Coperta, we actually use a secret ingredient that isn’t Italian: Cava,” said JP Taylor, Jr. proprietor of beast + bottle group. “Cava is Spain’s answer to Champagne.” It’s also usually dryer than Prosecco or other Italian sparkling wine, and it makes the spritzes lighter and more enjoyable, Taylor says. 400 E. 20th Ave. Denver

Sofia’s Roman Pizza

For a purple plot twist, The Hemingway Spritz at Sofia’s Roman Pizza is made with butterfly pea flower, a bloom that acts like a natural dye turning drinks violet. “This spritz is bright and beautiful,” says Claire Nafziger, general manager at Sofia’s. It’s also punched up with Italicus (which brings a little floral spice into the mix) and sherry, and then topped off with soda water. 1530 16th St. Mall #101, Denver

Pizzeria Alberico

Dozens of shelved red-hued Campari bottles are suspended above the bar, making for a striking decor element while simultaneously giving instant spritz cred to Pizzeria Alberico. The classics are covered, but you’ll also find riffs like Elena’s Garden, made with Elena Penna Vermouth di Torino. “The first time I smelled that vermouth I was completely swept away by the floral bouquet, and my immediate thought was to pair it with a citrus-driven gin and make it bubbly,” said Rio Mitchell, lead bartender at Pizzeria Alberico. As for that citrusy gin, Mitchell went local with Leopold Bros.’ Summer Gin. 1730 Pearl St., Boulder

Joy Hill

Follow the garlic aroma to Joy Hill, a neighborhood spot known for its pizza and cheesy garlic bread. The cocktail menu features a limoncello spritz. But on a hot day (and there’s plenty of those in the forecast), order the frozen one. Boozy, creamy and lemony, it’s best enjoyed on the pizzeria’s patio. 1229 S. Broadway, Denver

The Original

Beer in a spritz? The Original in McGregor Square will convince you it works with its Resting Spritz Face, which calls in Odell’s Sippin’ Pretty fruited sour for the bubbles. The bar team built the spritz around the beer’s flavor profile, a blend of açai, guava and elderberry, said Edward de Decker, food and beverage general manager, using a house-infused blueberry Aperol and a touch of lemon. 1600 20th St. Denver


Attached to the Clayton Hotel and Member’s Club, Kini’s is known for its Greek-isle fare. The restaurant’s Mediterranean-inspired Sumac Spritz matches the menu with grapefruit, Tito’s vodka and Prosecco for the bubbles. What makes this one stand out, though, is the housemade tart and sweet sumac bitters, which is more lip-puckering than bitter. 249 Clayton St., Denver


Spritz lovers have their pick at Jovanina’s, which is featuring a few that are a little lighter in ABV, but full in flavor. Standouts include the Mela Miele, with apple brandy, vermouth, honey, lemon and ginger beer, and The Sicilian, which is made with Averna, Trousseau gris and a Sicilian lemon soda. “Some cocktails are lighter riffs on modern classics, like the Mele Miele being a summery take on a Penicillin, while others, like the Sicilian Spritz, is a playful reimagining of a classic recipe,” said Jon Coklyat, bar director. 1520 Blake St. Denver

Room for Milly

No passport required to sit on the Parisian-inspired patio called The Terrace at Room for Milly and enjoy spritzes, house-bottled cocktails and kebabs fired on the grill. Room for Milly is open Monday through Saturday, but its outdoor patio is open from 2 to 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays should you want to sip your spritz outside. Try the slightly sweet Antigua spritz made with Strawberry-infused Aperol and basil, or the bottled Hibiki Spritz with green tea, hibiscus, lemon and soda. 1615 Platte St. Suite 145, Denver


Since opening last spring, BurnDown’s Aperol distributor has been blown away by how much the four-level bar is burning through bottles of the Italian bitter apéritif. The skilled bartenders can make you a traditional Aperol Spritz — no problem. But for a fancier one, Crash Into a Ditch has guava and strawberry flavors and is so popular it’s on draft. 476 S. Broadway, Denver

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