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Mmmm. Peach and fizziness! Credit: CVI Crapcam

What: The Italian Soda at Ristretto

Where: Ristretto, 500 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

How much: $2.50 medium, $2.95 large

Contact: 760-656-7352;

Why: It’s a refreshing drink in a relaxing spot.

We often praise the virtues of simple food in this space—we are fans of quality ingredients, properly combined and lovingly prepared.

However, I doubt we’ll ever tout a simpler item than this, the Italian soda at Ristretto. Why, you may ask, are we bestowing the extreme honor of an Indy Endorsement on a drink that consists of soda water, Torani syrup, ice and nothing else? After all, anybody can make an Italian soda at home in less than 30 seconds, right?

The key here is the venue, not the soda itself.

Ristretto is a delightful spot that’s quickly become the de facto coffee-shop meeting place for many people in downtown Palm Springs. It’s clean; it’s comfortable; and there’s a charming patio where one can watch the goings-on at the intersection of Ramon Road and Palm Canyon Drive.

Plus, the food (including burritos, quiches, bagels, wraps and salads) and drinks Ristretto offers are quite good—and the service is always fantastic. Finally, Ristretto is endorsement-worthy for its community involvement: It recently became one of the first two restaurants (along with Pho 533) to donate 100 percent of its Dining Out for Life-day proceeds to the Desert AIDS Project.

You may also ask: If the coffee and food at Ristretto are all so groovy, why endorse an Italian freaking soda? Well, summer arrives soon, and in our heat-addled minds, there is no non-alcoholic beverage that’s more refreshing on a 100-degree day than a nice, cold soda.

So, join us at Ristretto; pick your syrup flavor (we’re partial to peach or watermelon in terms of refreshing-ness); and cool off with us, will ya?

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Jimmy Boegle

Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent. He is also the executive editor and publisher of the Reno News & Review in Reno, Nev. A native of Reno, the Dodgers...