This Aperol cocktail pairs the famous Italian bitter liqueur with rum, pineapple and lime to make a classy drink even better than a spritz!
More often than not, we love us a classic cocktail. But sometimes you’ve got to break the mold. Such is the case with today’s drink, the Aperol cocktail! Because Aperol isn’t just for using in the mega-popular Aperol spritz. We’ve whipped up a modern classic-style cocktail that we think it even better than a spritz, if that’s possible! Mix Aperol with rum, lime and pineapple juice, and it comes out sweet tart, almost like grapefruit, almost tropical with a subtly bitter finish. In fact, we think it’s pretty perfect. You’ve got to taste this one!
What’s in this Aperol cocktail?
This Aperol cocktail is more like a sour cocktail than the popular spritz: and it’s an A Couple Cooks original. Because all cocktails need a catchy name, we nicknamed it “the Amalfi” as an ode to its Italian heritage. It’s a sort of play on two of our favorite modern classic cocktails, the Paper Plane and the Jungle Bird, which use Aperol and Campari respectively. Here’s what’s in this Aperol cocktail:
- White rum
- Pineapple juice
- Lime juice
- Simple syrup
All about Aperol!
What’s Aperol, anyway? Aperol is an Italian bitter aperitif with a bright orange color and lightly sweet, citrusy flavor. Another famous Italian aperitif you might know is Campari, the main ingredient in a Negroni! Campari was the first ever aperitif invented in Italy in the 1860’s. Aperol came along in 1919, and it was later bought by the Campari company in the 1990’s.
Aperol is most commonly used in the popular Aperol spritz. It tastes lightly sweet, bitter, and balanced, with notes of herbs and citrus. Its light flavor is much more approachable than bitter Campari, which can be polarizing. Personally I much prefer Aperol to Campari, where Alex loves bitter flavors and is a Campari fan. (Read more about the differences: Campari vs Aperol!)
Use best quality rum
For a great cocktail, our advice is this: the better the liquor, the better the drink! You’ll need white rum for this Aperol cocktail, the same type of rum used in a classic daiquiri, mojito and piña colada. White rum is clear and has a straightforward flavor, unlike golden or dark rum that’s a little more nuanced. Try to find a mid-price range bottle, which is usually indicative of the quality.
How to make this Aperol cocktail: shake and strain!
The Aperol cocktail is so simple to make: a simple shake and strain cocktail! Yes, you’ll need to dirty a cocktail shaker and juice a lime: but that’s it. Here’s what to do:
- Shake: Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Fill it with a few handfuls of ice and then shake until very cold. Don’t have a cocktail shaker? Use a mason jar with a cover instead.
- Strain: Strain the drink into a cocktail glass. Don’t have a cocktail strainer? Use a fine mesh strainer instead.
- Garnish: If you’d like, a lime slice is a great garnish and perfect against the peach hue of the cocktail.
More Aperol cocktails
There are lots of ways to use Aperol outside of the two most famous ways: and we hope you’ll add this Aperol cocktail (aka the Amalfi!) to your short list! Here are a few more Aperol cocktails we’d recommend for using up a bottle of the Italian liqueur:
When to serve this Aperol cocktail
This Aperol cocktail, the Amalfi, is a festive and fun cocktail, great for parties or sipping for a nighcap. It’s great as a:
- Summer drink
- Signature drink
- Cocktail hour drink
- Party drink
- Happy hour drink
- Dinner party drink
This Aperol cocktail pairs the famous Italian bitter liqueur with rum, pineapple and lime to make a classy drink that’s even better than a spritz!
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) white rum
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) pineapple juice
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Aperol
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) lime juice
- 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) simple syrup or maple syrup
- For the garnish: Lime wedge
- Add the rum, pineapple juice, Aperol, lime juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Fill it with ice and shake it until cold.
- Strain into a cocktail glass. If desired, garnish with a lime wedge.
- Category: Drink
- Method: Shaken
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Aperol cocktail
More rum cocktails
This Aperol cocktail also stars rum and lime juice, which factor into some of the most famous rum cocktails you’ll find! Here are a few to try:
- Go classic with the 3-ingredient Classic Daiquiri
- Whip up the minty Cuban classic, the Mojito
- Add lime to dark rum to make the easy Dark and Stormy Cocktail
- Opt for a retro 1990’s vibe with a Lime Frozen Daiquiri or Strawberry Daiquiri
- Grab a bottle of Maraschino liqueur for the sophisticated Hemingway Daiquiri
- Go tropical with the Jungle Bird or the fruity Pineapple Rum Cocktail
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.