The classic Aperol spritz is worth the hype! It’s light and bubbly, with hints of citrus and herbs: one of the most refreshing mixed drinks of all time.

Aperol spritz

Bubbly, citrusy, herbal, subtly bitter and lightly sweet…it’s the most classic bubbly mixed drink of them all. Meet the Aperol spritz! This drink is renowned the world over, reaching max popularity in the 2000’s. But did you know it’s actually a classic cocktail from the 1950’s? This Italian cocktail has been capturing hearts and minds for years. If you’re like us, you might have rolled your eyes to the popularity of this drink. But taste one made the right way: it’s absolutely worth the hype.

What’s in an Aperol spritz?

The Aperol spritz, or spritz veneziano, is an Italian aperitif: a drink for before a meal. The spritz was invented back in the 1800’s in Italy as a way to water down sparkling wine by mixing in…well, water! It wasn’t until the 1950’s that the Aperol spritz took the form it has today. It’s a cocktail on the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails, meaning that there’s an “official” definition. The Aperol spritz has these ingredients in a 3-2-1 ratio:

  • Sparkling wine, like Prosecco or champagne
  • Aperol
  • Soda water (not tonic water)
Aperol spritz

How to make the best Aperol spritz

The Aperol spritz is so easy to make: there’s no real technique involved at all! Just stir ingredients and top with bubbles. But this spritz has been criticized for being watery, too sweet, and like a Capri sun (thanks, New York Times). Here’s how to make the best Aperol spritz:

  • Use a high quality Prosecco! The key to a great spritz: use great sparkling wine! The reviewer above complained about low quality Prosecco making the drink too sugary. Don’t do it! Grab a mid-price range bottle of Prosecco or champagne for this one with a dry flavor.
  • Make sure both the Aperol and Prosecco are chilled. To minimize dilution, have both of the alcohols chilled as much as possible.
  • Squeeze in the orange! Bring more tangy citrus notes by squeezing in the orange wedge to the drink, then adding it as a garnish.
  • Use plenty of ice. Keep that beverage ice cold! Try clear ice for the most stunning look (see below).
  • Use a straw! It’s optional, but drinking out of a straw keeps your hand from warming the glass. Less dilution, better drink!
How to make an Aperol spritz

What is Aperol?

Good question! Aperol is an Italian bitter (amaro) and you can identify it by its bright orange color and classic label. It’s an aperitif, a drink to stimulate your appetite before a meal. The original aperitif invented back in the 1860’s in Italy was Campari (the main ingredient in a Negroni). Many sprung up after that, each restaurant boasting its own unique aperitif. Aperol came along in 1919, and it was bought by the Campari company in the 1990’s.

Aperol is bright orange and most commonly used in the Aperol spritz cocktail. The flavor is lightly sweet, bitter, and balanced, with notes of herbs and citrus. It has a fairly alcohol content (22 proof). Its light flavor is much more approachable than bitter Campari, which can be polarizing.

Other drinks to make with Aperol? Try the uniquely delicious Paper Plane and Naked and Famous, or the sweet tart Aperol Cocktail.

Aperol spritz

Cousin drinks to the Aperol spritz

There are several drinks related to the Aperol spritz! If you like this one, you’ll love:

  • Campari Spritz Bitter and bubbly, it’s a common spin on the Aperol spritz.
  • Americano The Americano is another bubbly cocktail using Campari, sweet vermouth, and lots of soda water.
  • Negroni Sbagliato A spin on the Negroni using Prosecco instead of gin, it’s bubbly and more balanced than the original.
Pouring Prosecco

More spritzes

If you love bubbly spritzes, make sure to try these spritz recipes:

  • Amaro Spritz This bubbly drink has notes of caramel and cola!
  • St Germain Spritz This floral, refreshing drink is easy drinking: perfect for summer!
  • Lillet Spritz Light and breezy, it features Lillet Blanc and bubbles.

When to serve an Aperol spritz

The Aperol spritz cocktail is bubbly and light; it’s perfect for sipping as a:

Spritz recipes
Try the Campari spritz, Amaro spritz, and St Germaine spritz
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Aperol spritz

Perfect Aperol Spritz


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

The classic Aperol spritz is worth the hype! It’s light and bubbly, with hints of citrus and herbs: one of the most refreshing mixed drinks of all time.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) Aperol, chilled
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) Prosecco or other sparkling wine, chilled
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) soda water
  • Ice (try clear ice!)
  • For the garnish: orange wedge, a straw if you like

Instructions

  1. Add the Aperol to a glass filled with ice and stir. Top with the sparkling wine and soda water.
  2. Squeeze in the orange wedge and stir gently, then serve. Serve with a straw to minimize dilution!
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: Aperol spritz

More great cocktails

Here are a few more of our great cocktails to add to your repertoire:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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1 Comment

  1. This is great info. I brought Aperol and prosecco to a friend’s in Napa and my spritz was too sweet, even though the prosecco was dry. I’ll make sure I buy a higher-end bubbly next time and chill the Aperol, as well.

    Thanks for the tip!