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Aperol Spritz Recipe

The Aperol Spritz is the quintessential aperitivo cocktail in Italy. (Sorry Negroni fans!) Discover the story behind the classic Italian cocktail and learn how to craft one at home.

Apertol Spritz with Olives, Sunglasses and Euros

As orange as a summer sunset, Italy’s Aperol Spritz is a boozy, bubbly beverage that’s simultaneously sweet and bitter. It’s also a drink that as easy to order at bars all over the world.

However, despite its ubiquitousness, there’s nowhere better to sip an Aperol Spritz than in Italy, the country where the iconic spritzer was invented.

Aperol Spritz on European Waterways Barge Cruise
We rarely say “no” to Aperol Spritz cocktails. We said “yes” to these two during our Burgundy canal cruise.

We first tasted an Aperol Spritz in Naples after we saw locals sipping vibrant orange drinks in jumbo goblets… but it wasn’t what we expected. Surprised by an astringent flavor that seemed incongruent to the drink’s fruity appearance, we were unsure if we liked the colorful cocktail almost a decade ago.

To be honest, we’re still not sure whether or not we like Aperol Spritzes. But, since we’re not quitters, we’ll keep drinking them until we make up our minds. It’s the least we can do as lazy mixologists and dedicated food travelers.

History of the Aperol Spritz

Aperol Spritz at L'Arco degli Albari in Bologna Italy
Since the Aperol Spritz is an Italian cocktail, it’s easy to find the spritzer in Italian cities like Bologna where we drank these two.

Although Italian bartenders first crafted Aperol Spritzes in the 1950s, the drink’s history goes back to 1919 when Luigi and Silvio Barbieri invented Aperol in Padua, an Italian city located in the same region as both Venice and Verona. Popular within the boot for decades, the Aperol Spritz achieved global fame after Gruppo Campari purchased Aperol in 2003.

Gruppo Campari also owns Campari, the bitter red liquor used to craft Negronis, but the two liquors aren’t the same. Made with ingredients like citrus oil, rhubarb, gentian root and cinchona bark, Aperol is sweeter and less potent than Campari. It’s also orange as previously noted.

What Is an Aperol Spritz?

Aperol Spritz on the Costa Smeralda Cruise Ship
We drank this particular Aprerol Spritz on the Costa Smeralda, an Italian cruise ship with an Aperol Spritz bar.

The Aperol Spritz fits into the spritz cocktail category.

Beloved in Italy, classic spritzes contain sparkling wine, Amari (i.e. bitter liqueur) and soda water in a 3:2:1 ratio. Prosecco is the Italian sparkling wine of choice while Aperol, Campari, Cynar and Select are popular Amari choices.

The classic Aperol Spritz recipe has three parts Prosecco, two parts Aperol and one part fizzy water. For many Italians, drinking an Aperol Spritz has become a nightly aperitivo ritual.

What Is Aperitivo?

Aperol Spritz with Aperitivo
We channel Italy every time we enjoy aperitivo at home with an Aperol Spritz or two.

Italy’s aperitvo is the happiest hour of the day when people wind down before dinner with a refreshing cocktail and snacks like salumi (preferably prosciutto, coppa or mortadella), cheese and olives. Italians typically drink wine, Negronis and spritzes during the nightly sunset ritual.

It goes without saying that the Aperol Spritz is one of the most popular aperitivo spritzes. However, don’t assume that every Italian bar serves Aperol Spritzes. One of the best cicchetti bars in Venice proudly declares itself to be a non-spritz zone and solely serves wine instead.

Aperol Spritz Ingredients

Aperol Spritz Ingredients
The Aperol Spritz may be the quintessential Italian cocktail, but its ingredient list is relatively easy to procure around the world. The only necessary ingredients are Aperol, Prosecco and sparkling water plus ice for shaking and an orange slice for garnish.

We already shared that the classic Aperol Spritz’s primary ingredients are Prosecco, Aperol and club soda on a 3:2:1 ratio. In our recipe, we use sparkling water instead of club soda.

This is the full list of Aperol Spritz ingredients:

  • Aperol Liqueur
  • Prosecco
  • Sparkling Water
  • Orange Slice (garnish)
  • Ice Cubes
Aperol Spritz Liquors
We used these bottles of Prosecco and Aperol to craft an Aperol Spritz at home.

Due to its popularity, Aperol is available at liquor stores around the world as well as at many grocery stores. Accordingly, it should be easy to find in your neck of the woods.

While any sparkling wine would technically work, we like to use a good quality Italian Prosecco when we craft this Italian cocktail at home. We chose an extra dry Prosecco produced by Albino Armani in the Veneto for this recipe. As a bonus, the leftover Prosecco tasted great on its own.

You can use sparkling water, seltzer or club soda. Although we normally drink Perrier at home, we chose to use Italy’s San Pellegrino in honor of the drink’s heritage.

How to Make an Aperol Spritz at Home

Ingredients for Aperol Spritz
Everything we used to craft our Aperol Spritz is pictured here – Prosecco, Aperol, sparkling water, an orange, ice cubes, a wine glass, a Japanese jigger and a mixing spoon.

Crafting an Aperol Spritz is super easy and doesn’t require any special tools or equipment. We used the following two tools while crafting this recipe:

Both of these tools are recommended but not required. You can use an angled measuring cup if you don’t have a jigger. Similarly, you can use a spoon or straw if you don’t have a mixing spoon.

Discover 10 necessary bar tools for lazy mixologists.

Daryl Opens a Bottle of Prosecco
Is Daryl excited to open this bottle of Prosecco or is he excited to craft an Aperol Spritz. The answer is obviously both.

The first step is to open the Prosecco bottle. Be sure to direct the bottle away from your eyes and any lighting fixture before you pop the cork! But seriously, it’s best to use both hands to open the bottle, twisting the cork while gently liberating it from the top. You should hold the bottle upright as well.

Once the bottle is open, organize your work station and add ice cubes to a glass.

Pro Tip
Choose the glass with care as you’ll be drinking your Aperol Spritz from it. We like to use a wine glass though you may prefer a goblet or lowball glass instead.

Measuring Aperol for Aperol Spritz
It’s difficult to miss Aperol’s orange color when you measure the Italian bitter. We didn’t when we measured ours.

The next step is to measure the Prosecco and Aperol. We like to use a Japanese Jigger for these measurements to avoid spillage and ensure accurate measurements.

Click here to buy a Japanese jigger if you don’t have one or if you want to make an inexpensive jigger upgrade.

Pouring Aperol into Aperol Spritz
The Aperol Spritz is one of the easiest cocktails that we’ve ever crafted.

Simply pour each liquor into the glass after you measure it. You don’t need a shaker or mixing glass for this easy Aperol Spritz recipe!

Stirring Aperol Spritz
Once we stirred this Aperol Spritz, we were almost ready to drink it.

The next step is to gently stir. Drop in an orange slice or wedge plus a splash of sparkling water. You can use club soda instead if you have a bottle in your pantry.

Crafting an Aperol Spritz
Cheers to Aperol Spritzes and aperitivo sessions!

You’ll want to immediately start sipping your Aperol Spritz while its cold and bubbly. If you don’t, the ice will melt and the drink will dilute.

You’ll also want to space your sips with nibbles like cured meat, hard cheese and Mediterranean olives. By doing so, you will be enjoying aperitivo whether you’re in Rome, Italy or Rome, Georgia.

Aperol Spritz Alternatives

Cicchetti and Spritz at Al Merca in Venice
We paired this Venetian Spritzer with cicchetti snacks when we sipped it in Venice.

Whether or not you consider our classic Aperol Spritz recipe to be the perfect Aperol Spritz recipe, feel free to get creative by trying one or more of the following alternatives during a future aperitivo session:

  • Replace the orange slice with a green olive to craft a Venetian Spritz.
  • Replace the Aperol with Campari to craft a Campari Spritz.
  • Craft a Porto Tonico instead. It’s our go-to aperitivo cocktail in Portugal.

Aperol Spritz Recipe

Aperol Spritz with White Background

Aperol Spritz

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Boozy and bubbly, the Aperol Sprtiz is Italy's quintessential aperitvo cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Aperol
  • 3 ounces Prosecco, chilled
  • 1 ounce sparkling water, chilled
  • 1 orange slice
  • ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Fill a glass or goblet with ice cubes.
  2. Add Aperol and Prosecco. Gently stir.
  3. Add soda water plus an orange slice or wedge.
  4. Drink immediately.

Notes

  1. Modify the Aperol Spritz's 3:2:1 ratio if you prefer a sweeter or less sweet version.
  2. Feel free to use club soda instead of sparkling water.
  3. We like to use a wine glass but you can use a goblet or lowball glass instead.
  4. If you don't drink the Aperol Spritz immediately, the cocktail's flavor will diminish as the ice melts.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 278Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 8mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 3gSugar: 33gProtein: 1g

Nutrition Disclosure: We used an online calculator to calculate this information. Though 2foodtrippers.com has attempted to secure accurate data, these nutritional figures are estimates.

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About the Authors

About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

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