Aperol Spritz

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Cocktail History

The Aperol Spritz is a classic cocktail that was created in the early 1920s after brothers Luigi and Silvio Barbieri first introduced Aperol at the Padua International Fair in Italy. It’s said that this light and refreshing mix of the bitter Italian liqueur, Prosecco, soda water, and citrus was made to highlight the Aperol’s flavor, and since then, the drink has become a favorite apéritif of mid-afternoon imbibers in Italy. It wasn’t until the 2000s that the Aperol Spritz made its way onto bar menus in other countries, however. Gruppo Campari, owners of the larger Italian liqueur Campari, purchased the Aperol brand in 2003 and have since heavily marketed the liqueur as the main ingredient in a spritz cocktail, which led to its worldwide popularity.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Sparkling Wine: This is a carbonated wine made with white or red grapes. This recipe specifically calls for Prosecco, a sparkling white wine made in Italy, so we used Mionetto Prosecco DOC Treviso Brut because it has a crisp and refreshing flavor with notes of peach, apple, and honey. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Gruvi Non-Alcoholic Prosecco in place of the sparkling wine.

Aperol: This is an apéritif made in Italy with gentian root, rhubarb, cinchona, sugar, and alcohol. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Free Spirits Non-Alcoholic Aperitivo in place of the bitter liqueur.

Soda Water: This is a type of water that has been infused with carbon dioxide gas under pressure. We used Topo Chico Sparkling Mineral Water because it’s light, essentially flavorless, and refreshing.

Orange Slice: This is a slice of orange that has been cut into a half wheel shape.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Bar Spoon: This is used to stir ingredients. We used the Barfly Stainless Steel Teardrop Bar Spoon.

Tasting Notes

The Aperol Spritz features dominant aromas of orange with a hint of Aperol’s herbal and bitter scent, and it has a taste that’s sweet initially from both the liqueur’s sugariness and the Prosecco but then follows both up with the slightly bitter backbone of the orangey amaro that lingers on the palate.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: In our opinion, the bubbles paired with the liqueur’s slight bitterness make this spritz a likely pleasure to any palate. This was the second one Kendall had ever tried, and while she thought it was noticeably less bitter than her first one years ago, she still didn’t quite find it worth craving. Alex, on the other hand, has wishful visions of sipping one of these while dining al fresco in a quiet Mediterranean village almost daily.

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“I’ve always been a fan of the Aperol Spritz as a drink but even more so what it represents: mid-day low-proof drinking to help you ride a slight buzz into the night without taking you overboard and putting you to sleep by 7:00pm. The Italians take everything in moderation, and that’s something I aspire to do too because I believe any non-workday spent relaxing on a patio or porch deserves just a slight buzz.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“Full disclosure, we made and photographed this classic for the first time last spring, but I ended up not loving the photo and kept moving it back on our calendar for that reason. I finally stuck it back into our rotation this spring so we could take another photo and so I could taste it again. Last year, I remember not liking this at all, but it’s nowhere close to as bitter as I remember it being. I still wouldn’t call it a favorite, but it’s a nice refreshing drink! I can see why it’s beloved for brunches and garden parties.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks by the editors of PUNCH and Megan Krigbaum.

Sale
The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes
The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes
Hardcover Book; Editors of PUNCH (Author); English (Publication Language); 352 Pages – 09/05/2017 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$13.05 Amazon Prime

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail Book

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 3 oz Prosecco
 2 oz Aperol
 1 oz Soda Water
 1 Orange Slice

Method
1

Add sparkling wine, Aperol, soda water, and cubed ice to a highball or wine glass.

2

Stir for 5-10 seconds.

3

Garnish with orange slice.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 3 oz Prosecco
 2 oz Aperol
 1 oz Soda Water
 1 Orange Slice

Directions

Method
1

Add sparkling wine, Aperol, soda water, and cubed ice to a highball or wine glass.

2

Stir for 5-10 seconds.

3

Garnish with orange slice.

Aperol Spritz

Make It a Mocktail: Use Gruvi Non-Alcoholic Prosecco in place of the sparkling wine and Free Spirits Non-Alcoholic Aperitivo in place of the bitter liqueur to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

Riedel Extreme Cabernet Wine Glasses, Set of 4, Clear, 28.22 ounces
Riedel Extreme Cabernet Wine Glasses, Set of 4, Clear, 28.22 ounces
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Riedel Extreme Pinot Noir Glass, Set of 2, Clear
Riedel Extreme Pinot Noir Glass, Set of 2, Clear
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Riedel 1234/0 Winewings Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Glass, Single Stem, Clear,35.34 ounces
Riedel 1234/0 Winewings Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Glass, Single Stem, Clear,35.34 ounces
Machine made and dishwasher safe; Glass capacity 35.34 ounces; Glass size: 4.61Lx4.61Wx9.84H (Inches)
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Riedel Vinum New World Pinot Noir Glass, Set of 2
Riedel Vinum New World Pinot Noir Glass, Set of 2
This glass should be part of the basic equipment of every sophisticated wine lover; All Riedel glasses are dishwasher safe
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OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Pairing Knife,Black/Silver,3-1/2-Inch
OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Pairing Knife,Black/Silver,3-1/2-Inch
Sturdy, stainless steel blade; Soft, comfortable, non-slip handle ensures a safe grip; Hand wash with warm, soapy water and promptly dry
$13.99 Amazon Prime

More Sparkling Wine Cocktails

If you like this sparkling wine-based cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Mountaintop Meadow Cocktail Recipe

Mountaintop Meadow: A vodka cocktail made with elderflower liqueur, simple syrup, lavender bitters, dry sparkling wine, a pineapple wedge, and mint

Nucleus Mimosa Cocktail Recipe

Nucleus Mimosa: A sparkling wine cocktail made with orange juice, cranberry juice, and a lime slice

Pomegranate Gin Fizz Cocktail Recipe

Pomegranate Gin Fizz: A gin cocktail made with grenadine, sparkling wine, pomegranate seeds, and a Demerara sugar cube

Minute To Midnight Cocktail Recipe

Minute To Midnight: A brandy cocktail made with pear liqueur, Angostura aromatic bitters, dry sparkling wine, and a lemon twist

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