Aperol Spritz Cocktail

Aperol Spritz Cocktail Recipe

 The Spruce Eats

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail

The Aperol spritz is one of the best ways to enjoy the Italian apéritif. For most people, Aperol is too bittersweet to drink straight. In its signature cocktail, the liqueur's distinct orange flavor is simultaneously softened and enhanced with prosecco and soda. It's a splendid and refreshing drink with a cheery, bright orange color, tons of sparkle, and an invigorating citrus taste that tantalizes the taste buds.

Called the "Aperol spritz ritual," there's a certain order to the pour for this recipe: The ice goes in first, then the prosecco, followed by Aperol and a splash of soda. By pouring the Italian sparkling wine before the liqueur, the Aperol will not settle and there's no need to stir the drink. Just leave the mixing to the bubbles of the wine and soda.

Quick and easy to mix up, the Aperol spritz is an ideal before-dinner drink that will stimulate your appetite. It's also a low-alcohol cocktail, which is why it's a popular option for sunny summer days.

Ingredients

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Aperol Spritz Cocktail Recipe

     The Spruce Eats

  2. Add ice and an orange slice to a tall glass.

    Aperol Spritz Cocktail Recipe

     The Spruce Eats

  3. Pour in the prosecco, then Aperol.

    Aperol Spritz Cocktail Recipe

     The Spruce Eats

  4. Top off with a splash of soda.

    Aperol Spritz Cocktail Recipe

     The Spruce Eats

  5. Serve and enjoy!

    Aperol Spritz Cocktail Recipe

     The Spruce Eats

Tip

  • Add the orange slice whenever you like. It's really nice when integrated into the ice as suggested in the recipe, or you can add it as a garnish at the end.
  • Due to the shared Italian roots, prosecco is the wine of choice, though any sparkling wine will work just fine.
  • Pour this drink as tall as you like or to fill your glass. It can also be made in any style of glass and is commonly served in stemmed glassware, such as a white wine glass. For a shorter drink, pick up your favorite old-fashioned glass.

Recipe Variations

  • Adjust the ratio of Aperol and prosecco to suit your taste. The recipe uses the popular 3:2:1 ratio, while some fans of the drink enjoy it with equal parts of liqueur and wine.
  • It's not traditional, but a shot of top-shelf vodka (particularly citrus vodka) is a nice addition to this drink.

How Strong Is an Aperol Spritz?

Aperol is bottled at 11 percent ABV (22 proof), so it's the same strength as the average prosecco. When the two come together in the Aperol spritz, the drink's alcohol content is around 8 percent ABV (16 proof). If you'd like to make it lighter, pour less Aperol and wine and make up the difference with soda.

What Kind of Alcohol Is Aperol?

Aperol is a unique distilled spirit that doesn't conveniently fit into a single category of liquor. The label calls it a liqueur, though it's not sweet like other orange liqueurs such as Cointreau and Grand Marnier. Instead, it follows the flavor profile of an apéritif—bitter, herbal, and dry. Adding to the confusion, the recipe for Aperol is a tightly guarded secret; officially, it's an infusion of oranges and "selected herbs and roots." Sweet and bitter oranges and rhubarb are known ingredients, and it may include gentian and cinchona as well. Whatever goes into it, the orange-colored liqueur has a zesty, bittersweet orange taste with herbal and woody accents. It's comparable to Campari but distinctly different; Aperol is citrus-forward, lighter in flavor, and not as bitter.

When Was Aperol Created?

The Italian liqueur was developed by brothers Luigi and Silvio Barbieri after they inherited a liqueur company from their father in 1912. The story says that it took them seven years to perfect the recipe, and Aperol was officially released in 1919. Over the next few decades, it gained popularity in Italy. Apéritivos are part of Italian dinner traditions and the brand became known for fashionable and eye-catching marketing campaigns with poster artwork that rivaled Campari's iconic advertisements. The Aperol spritz was created in the 1950s and saw a revival in the early 2000s as drinkers worldwide rediscovered its captivating taste. Appropriately, the Aperol brand is owned today by the Campari Group.