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Hugo Spritz Cocktail Recipe

Don’t like Italy’s Aperol Spritz? Try a Hugo Spritz instead. Who knows? The refreshing Italian spritz may become your go-to aperitivo beverage.

Hugo Spritz Cocktail with Black Background(1)

Drinking Hugo Spritzes during a recent Mediterranean cruise motivated us to craft the sweet sipper at home.

Flavored with fresh mint and lime, the low-alcohol Hugo Spritz is a great alternative to stronger beverages. Not only does it taste like a dream, but it’s also ideal for pre-dinner aperitivo sessions, lazy afternoons and weekend brunches.

As a bonus, the Hugo Spritz fits right into our lazy mixology playbook. Spoiler Alert: Our Hugo Spritz cocktail recipe has just five ingredients (not counting ice) and requires no special tools or equipment.

History of the Hugo Spritz

Hugo Sprita on the Costa Smerelda w Mozzerella
Drinking this Hugo Spritz cocktail during a Mediterranean cruise motivated us to craft Hugo Spritzes at home.

The Hugo Spritz seems like it should be a classic cocktail, but its history is too short for this accolade. Roland Gruber invented the Hugo in 2005, so we consider the Italian spritz to be a ‘modern classic’.

We were initially disappointed to learn that the Hugo wasn’t invented by somebody named Hugo. However, there’s nothing disappointing about the sweet sipper that Gruber concocted with sparkling wine and a hyper local ingredient, elderflower syrup, at a South Tyrol bar.

Over the past decade, the Hugo Spritz’s popularity has spread from the Dolomites to Lake Garda, throughout Italy and beyond. If it’s up to us, it’s only a matter of time before the verdant, sweet Hugo Spritz rivals the more acerbic, bright orange Aperol Spritz at bars throughout the world.

What Is a Hugo Spritz?

Hugo Spritz and Peanuts on Ledge
We paired this Hugo Spritz with peanuts to create a late afternoon aperitivo combo.

The refreshing Hugo Spritz tastes like summer in a glass at any time of year. However, some people aren’t familiar with Roland Gruber’s Italian cocktail creation.

As for us, we first sipped Hugo Spritzes during Trentino-Alto Adige food trip in 2019. It was only a matter of time before we recreated the tasty tipple in our Lisbon kitchen.

We constructed our Hugo Spritz recipe using a 3:2:1 ratio of Prosecco, elderflower syrup and sparkling water. The elderflower syrup provides the drink’s sweet, fruity flavor while the Prosecco adds a bubbly kick. Fresh mint and lime give our Hugo a zippy yet herbal zing.

Hugo Spritz Ingredients

Hugo Spritz Ingredients and Tools
Our Hugo Sprtiz cocktail recipe includes the items pictured here – sparkling water, elderflower syrup, Prosecco, a lime and fresh mint. Not pictured is the ice.

Since the Hugo Spritz’s ingredient list is as short and sweet as the drink itself, you’ll only need the following items to craft a one in your home:

  • Elderflower Syrup
  • Prosecco
  • Sparkling Water
  • Fresh Mint
  • Lime
  • Ice Cubes
Elderflower Syrup and Prosecco Bottles
Elderflower syrup and Prosecco are the Hugo Spritz’s star ingredients.

Elderflower syrup and Prosecco are the Hugo Spritzes two main ingredients and the ones that might not be available at your local market. Sparkling water, limes and fresh mint should be easy to find.

→ Click here to buy a bottle of elderflower syrup on Amazon.

Don’t skip crafting a Hugo if you can’t find these items or if you prefer a stronger drink. You can easily replace the Prosecco with another sparkling wine like Cava or Champagne. You can also use an elderflower liqueur like St. Germain as a potent syrup substitute.

How to Make a Hugo Spritz Cocktail at Home

Hugo Spritz Cocktail Mise en Place
Crafting a Hugo Spritz is easy once you assemble the necessary ingredients and tools.

To quote the Commodores song, crafting a Hugo Spritz is “easy like Sunday morning.” These are the only necessary tools we use in this Hugo Spritz cocktail recipe:

A Japanese Jigger is recommended but not required – you can use an angled measuring cup instead. However, we do recommend using a mixing spoon since this particular cocktail tool doubles as a muddler.

Discover 10 necessary bar tools for lazy mixologists.

Opening Prosecco for a Hugo Spritz
Daryl got the party started when he popped the cork on this Prosecco bottle.

The first step in our Hugo Spritz recipe is to open the Prosecco bottle… carefully.

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.

Pro Tip
Hold the bottle upright as well.

Tearing Mint for a Hugo Spritz
Mindi joined the party by tearing a few mint leaves.

Drop a lime wheel and a few torn fresh mint leaves into a wine glass.

Muddling Lime and Mint for a Hugo Spritz
Muddling enhances the Hugo’s flavor and just takes a minute to do.

Muddle the lime wheel and mint leaves with the bottom of your mixing spoon. Next, fill the glass with ice cubes.

Pouring Elderflower for a Hugo Spritz
Measuring the liquids is the most difficult part of our Hugo Spritz recipe. In other words, it’s a very easy recipe.

Measure the elderflower syrup and Prosecco. Pour each immediately into a wine glass as you measure them.

Prosecco in a Japanese Jigger
Once you see the Prosecco bubbles, you know you’re just a couple minutes away from drinking your Hugo Spritz.

You don’t need a shaker or mixing glass to craft a Hugo Spritz at home; however, we recommend using a Japanese Jigger for accurate measurements and easy pours.

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

Stirring Hugo Spritz
Stirring the Hugo brings the Italian sipper to life.

Gently Stir. Add a splash of sparkling water (approximately one ounce) and garnish with a mint sprig and lime wheel. Start sipping immediately.

Hugo Spritz Alternatives

Bottles of Sparkling Water, Elderflower Syrup and Prosecco
Don’t worry if you’re missing any Hugo Spritz ingredients. Instead, get creative.

Crafting a Hugo Spritz cocktail is easy. However, if you’re missing any of the recipe’s ingredient or feel like experimenting, we recommend the following global options:

  • Craft an Aperol Spritz, Italy’s most popular spritz.
  • Craft a Negroni, Italy’s most popular cocktail.
  • Craft a French 75, France’s most popular bubbly cocktail
  • Craft a Porto Tonico, Portugal’s favorite aperitivo beverage.

Hugo Spritz Recipe

Hugo Spritz Cocktail with Black Background

Hugo Spritz

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

Craft a Hugo Spritz it just five minutes. It's sweeter than Italy's Aperol Spritz and tastes divine.

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces Prosecco, chilled
  • 2 ounces Elderflower Syrup
  • 1 ounce sparkling water, chilled
  • 3 mint leaves, torn
  • 1 mint sprig for garnish
  • 2 lime wheels
  • ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Muddle mint leaves and lime wheel in a wine glass.
  2. Fill glass with ice cubes.
  3. Add Elderflower Syrup and Prosecco. Gently stir.
  4. Add soda water plus a mint sprig and lime wheel for garnish.
  5. Drink immediately.

Notes

  1. Modify the Hugo 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. Feel free to use Elderflower Liqueur instead of Elderflower Syrup.,
  4. Feel free to use a goblet or lowball glass instead.
  5. Drink the Hugo Spritz immediately before the ice melts and diminishes the flavor.
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.

Disclosure

We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

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