The classic Italian orange apperitivo cocktail, this Aperol Spritz recipe always transports me to Italian summers. This post is for the 21+ crowd only, please.
I don’t exactly remember the first time I noticed the Aperol Spritz. It may have been when visited the beautiful Lake Garda in northern Italy. Nearly every cafe along the lake had tables dotted with bright orange cocktails in big wine glasses filled with ice. A couple years later when we went back to Italy, this time to Tuscany, still, all the cafe tables seemed topped with orange spritz!
As summer draws nearer, I’m dreaming of those hot Tuscan summers cooled down by cold spritz. And with a several festive spring and summer holidays coming up (Easter, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day), I thought, what better time to share the classic Aperol Spritz recipe with you! Though I mostly share healthy recipes in this space, I also allow room for indulgence, so here we are. Cocktail recipes like my Limoncello Spritzer, Watermelon Frose, Blood Orange Margarita, and Rose Sangria are always popular here too. If you’d like a virgin drink, grab this Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Drink instead.
What is Aperol?
Of the several bright red-to-orange Italian bitter aperitivo liqueurs, Aperol is probably the most popular at the moment. Here are some things to know:
- Originated in 1919 in Padova, Italy
- The secret recipe has remained unchanged, but is said to include bitter and sweet oranges, roots, and herbs
- It’s lower in alcohol, at 11%
- Just a hint of bitterness, which is easily toned down with other ingredients
- Aperol tastes bitter-sweet, with orange and herbal notes
What is an Aperol Spritz?
Now that you know what Aperol itself is, a spritz is simply a bit of Aperol turned into a spritzer. Aperol Spritz is a cold, refreshing, bright orange aperitivo. Aperitivo is an the Italian for of happy hour: drinks and nibbles that come before dinner. In reality they are enjoyed anytime in the afternoon.
Aperol Spritz Recipe
The classic Aperol Spritz recipe is so easy you really don’t need a recipe at all! Our backyard citrus explosion, and a glimpse of beautiful Florentine La Menagerie’s spritz on Instagram, inspired me to make a few spritz’s this time. I love to switch up the classic orange with other citrus, as you can see here. Here’s what you’ll need for the classic Italian cocktail:
- 2 parts Prosecco (dry Italian sparkling wine)
- 1 part Aperol
- splash soda water (I use sparkling water like San Pellegrino)
- squeeze of fresh orange
- wedge of fresh orange for garnish
- lots of ice
What to Serve with Aperol Spritz
Being an aperitivo (Italian happy hour food or drink), this cocktail is great with any appetizers or snacks. Especially if they are Italian! Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Creamy Homemade Hummus
- Fresh Spring Rolls
- Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Authentic tomato bruschetta
- Avocado Toast
- Avocado Bruschetta
- Cheese board
- Basil Edamame hummus and pita chips
- Mediterranean Mezze Platter
What’s the difference between Aperol and Campari?
Campari has a much more pronounced bitter taste. It’s used in the Negroni cocktail. If you’re not familiar with bitter cocktails, Aperol would be a better place to start.
Where do you buy Aperol?
Most grocery stores carry Aperol. BevMo and other stores that carry adult beverages certainly do.
Can I make a pitcher of Aperol Spritz?
Yes! For a party, you can make a pitcher of Aperol Spritz all at once rather than making individual drinks. The trick is to wait until the last minute so your prosecco doesn’t go flat, and not add ice cubes the the pitcher or your spritz will get watered down.
- 5 oz. Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine)
- 2.5 oz. Aperol
- Splash sparkling water
- Squeeze of fresh orange juice
- Citrus slices
- Fill a large wine glass 2/3 full with ice cubes. Add prosecco, Aperol, and a splash of soda water or sparkling water. Squeeze fresh orange into the glass and garnish with orange slices.
You can mix up the citrus by adding grapefruit, lime, lemon, blood orange, or tangerine!
To make more than one Spritz, simply follow this ratio:
2 parts Prosecco + 1 part Aperol + splash of soda water + slice of orange
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 292 Total Fat: 0g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 9mg Carbohydrates: 2g Fiber: 0g Protein: 0g