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Hugo Spritz

Move over Aperol Spritz! Italy’s Hugo Spritz is an ideal summer sipper that’s ready for its moment. You’ll understand once you take your first delicious sip. Consider yourself warned that your first sip won’t be your last.

Hugo Spritz Cocktail with Black Background(1)
Image: ©2foodtrippers

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 is ridiculously easy to craft at home. Spoiler Alert: Our Hugo Spritz cocktail recipe has just five ingredients (not counting ice) and requires no special tools or equipment.

Fun Fact
People are calling the Hugo Spritz the official summer drink of 2023 and we don’t disagree.

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. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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

As for us, we first sipped Hugo Spritzes during a Trentino 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.

Discover more great summer cocktails to craft at home.

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. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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.

Discover more of our favorite Italian cocktails.

Ingredients

Hugo Spritz Ingredients and Tools
Our Hugo Spritz cocktail recipe includes the items pictured here – sparkling water, elderflower syrup, Prosecco, a lime and fresh mint. Not pictured is the ice. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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 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. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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.

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.

Discover our favorite sparkling wine cocktails.

How To Craft A Hugo Spritz Cocktail

Hugo Spritz Cocktail Mise en Place
Crafting a Hugo Spritz is easy once you assemble the necessary ingredients and tools. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

To quote the Commodores song, crafting a Hugo Spritz is “easy like Sunday morning.” The first step 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.

Opening Prosecco for a Hugo Spritz
Daryl got the party started when he popped the cork on this Prosecco bottle. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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

Tearing Mint for a Hugo Spritz
Mindi joined the party by dropping a few freshly torn mint leaves into a wine glass. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Muddle the lime wheel and mint leaves with the bottom of your bar spoon.

Muddling Lime and Mint for a Hugo Spritz
Muddling enhances the Hugo’s flavor and just takes a minute to do. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Next, fill the glass with ice cubes.

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

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. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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

Buy a Japanese jigger from Amazon if you need a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.

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. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Gently Stir.

Stirring Hugo Spritz
Stirring the Hugo brings the Italian sipper to life. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Add a splash of sparkling water (approximately one ounce) and garnish with a mint sprig and lime wheel.

Hugo Spritz with White Background
Voila! This garnished Hugo Spritz is ready for its moment. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Start sipping immediately.

Alternatives

Bottles of Sparkling Water, Elderflower Syrup and Prosecco
Don’t worry if you’re missing any Hugo Spritz ingredients. Instead, get creative. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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:

Discover 10 essential bar tools for the home mixologist.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Hugo Spritz?

The Hugo Spritz is a classic Italian spritz cocktail crafted with Prosecco, elderflower syrup and sparkling water in a 3:2:1 ratio.

Where was the Hugo Spritz invented?

The Hugo Spritz was invented in Italy.

What are the ingredients in a Hugo Spritz?

Elderflower Syrup, Prosecco, Sparkling Water, Fresh Mint, Lime and Ice Cubes

Is the Hugo Spritz shaken or stirred?

The Hugo Spritz is stirred, not shaken.

What type of glass is best for the Hugo Spritz?

We like to serve this cocktail in a wine glass and you should do the same.

Did you craft this cocktail? If so, please rate the recipe below.

Hugo Spritz with Black Background
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5 from 2 votes

Hugo Spritz Recipe

Craft a Hugo Spritz it just five minutes. It's sweeter than Italy's Aperol Spritz and tastes divine.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Drink
Cuisine: Cocktail
Servings: 1
Calories: 220kcal

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • Muddle mint leaves and lime wheel in a wine glass.
  • Fill glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Elderflower Syrup and Prosecco. Gently stir.
  • Add soda water plus a mint sprig and lime wheel for garnish.
  • 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.

Estimated Nutrition

Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 0.5g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 188IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg
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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. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers their unique taste of the world.

Disclosures

Article Updates
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.

Funding
We purchased all ingredients and tools used to craft this cocktail.

Original Publication Date: November 17, 2021

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