Aperol Spritz

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Cocktail History

The Aperol Spritz is a low-proof cocktail that was created in Padua, Italy in the early 1920s after brothers Luigi and Silvio Barbieri first introduced Aperol at the Padua International Fair in 1919. It is said that this light and refreshing mix of the slightly 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 for its refreshing quality, bittersweet taste, and low alcohol content.

It wasn’t until the 2000s that the Aperol Spritz made its way onto bar menus in other countries. 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 the base spirit. This recipe specifically calls for Prosecco, a sparkling white wine from Italy, so we used La Marca Prosecco for its crisp, refreshing taste and floral notes.

Aperol: This is a bitter Italian apéritif. It adds notes of gentian, rhubarb, and cinchona.

Soda Water: This is water that has been infused with carbon dioxide gas under pressure. It stretches the drink and adds fizz. We used Topo Chico because it’s light, essentially flavorless, and refreshing.

Orange Slice: This is the garnish. It adds fresh citrus aroma and flavor when dropped into the drink.

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.

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.

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail BookPrep Time5 minsRating

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

Method
1

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

2

Stir for 5-10 seconds.

3

Garnish with orange slice.

Aperol Spritz

Tools & Glassware We Recommend

More Sparkling Wine Cocktails

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

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

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

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

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

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