Want an easy, summer cocktail with a low alcohol content straight from the heart of northern Italy? I think the main ingredient in this Aperol Spritz is going to surprise you.
We discovered the ingredients for Aperol Spritz in our hotel cottage for a birthday weekend away, a freebie adult beverage offered to all guests to create their own Aperol Spritz recipe.
Sure, why not?
Who wouldn’t try a new cocktail recipe with complimentary ingredients.
Until this moment we had never heard of Aperol Spritzes.
The bright orange color made it look like it could stir up a good drink with just a handful of ingredients, so we decided to play with it a bit.
Since we were already plying ourselves with tipple that weekend, we took home what they offered us (Aperol, Prosecco, and a club soda for two servings) and started experimenting with the ingredients to come up with something for you guys.
We started mixing up the original Italian cocktail recipe to get just a taste, and what we found was shocking.
Aperol is a low-alcohol Italian aperitif, bright orange in color that LOOKS like it would be very sweet, but it is NOT.
It is a mostly bitter herbal mix of citrus, woodsy, and earthy flavors.
The company says it’s orange-forward, but I wouldn’t interpret Aperol this way.
I’d say orange PEEL forward, maybe.
It will either be an acquired taste for you, or you already love lightly sweet and very bitter flavors in food and drink.
Aperol’s flavor is the opposite—I mean, an absolute 180°—from an ice wine or dessert wine.
From my own taste perspective, if you pulled a richly layered port wine inside out and removed every last bit of sweetness, you’d have Aperol (in my opinion, of course).
Made by gruppo Campari, they call it unique and that is the truth.
I’ve had many bitters that I can say I enjoy, and truthfully, Aperol isn’t one of them.
Was it worth trying? Absolutely. If you are looking for a cocktail mixer that isn’t very sweet, this is for you.
We don’t have to like everything we share—to each his or her own, ya know?
We tweaked their “official” recipe because we wanted to back down from Aperol’s “whoa, is this right?” feeling and flavor.
But if you mess with it too much, you’re not getting the Aperol spritz cocktail experience, and that’s why we are here today.
What to serve with the best Aperol Spritz
– What’s more commonly known in America as “tapas,” the Aperol website mentions cichetti and spuntino—informal meals or snacks arranged merrily on platters to be enjoyed anytime and anywhere.
– So, what goes with an Aperol Spritz recipe like this one?
- Pan brioche: toasted bread with avocado, smoked salmon, and egg
- Focaccia alone or with ham
- Tuscan flatbread
- A robust Antipasto salad
- Dried fruits like figs, apricots, and dates
And what doesn’t go with this bubbly cocktail?
We found sharp cheeses like feta, blue cheese, and extra sharp cheddar just left a sour flavor in our mouths all around.
Strong, bold green olives, crisp Crunchmaster crackers, potato chips, and other salty snacks like pretzels, however, were all quite good with this drink.
More Prosecco recipes you’ll love
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Supplies you’ll need
Here’s a list of things you’ll need to create a level-up of the original recipe:
Sparkling wine, lots of ice, and a splash of soda water are working hard in this classic aperol spritz recipe.
And if a non-sweet happy hour is your personal taste, this may be the best way to knock back the refreshing cocktail of your dreams on a hot day.
I couldn’t use a slice of orange so we used lemon, and I even gave mine a bit of a squeeze to try and temper that flavor of bitter oranges that are integral to this classic cocktail.
This classic Italian bitter liqueur is definitely on the bitter side.
Did I say it’s bitter? Get ready.
So even though we upped this to be more than equal parts Prosecco, if the entire internet is calling this a popular cocktail, I’ll just smile and say, to each her own.
This is a recipe for an alcoholic drink. Please drink responsibly. We love you.
- 2 oz Aperol
- 4 oz Prosecco
- 1 oz Tonic Water
- Squeeze of lemon or orange
- Lemon or orange slice for garnish
- Open all the liquids with a bottle opener and measure them with the measuring glass.
- Fill the wine glass all the way with ice cubes.
- Pour the Aperol over the ice first.
- Then pour in the Prosecco next.
- Lastly, pour the tonic water on top.
- Cut a few lemon slices or orange slices, squeeze in a wedge’s worth of fresh juice, then add them to your wine glass and enjoy. Remember to drink responsibly.
Aperol Spritz cocktails are usually garnished with orange slices, but since I am allergic to orange oil in the peel, I used lemon instead.
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