5 Ingredients or Fewer

Aperol Spritz

May 17, 2021
4 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog
  • Prep time 1 minute
  • Serves 1
Author Notes

Once enjoyed exclusively in its native Italy, the Aperol spritz has become world-famous over the last couple of decades for its powerfully refreshing qualities, bright color, lower alcohol content, and overall simplicity. If you’re hunting for a poolside pour or perfect porch sipper, look no further than this light, colorful summer drink that’s as easy to assemble as it is to swig.

Aperol is a vibrant orange apéritif or aperitivo with roots in Padua, Italy, originally enjoyed before a meal to stimulate the appetite—though it can also be beneficial as a digestif after a meal. Its signature bitter flavor comes from a combination of aromatic ingredients like burnt orange, rhubarb, and gentian, and it packs in a little more sweetness and slightly less of a boozy punch than its crimson cousin, Campari. In fact, Aperol is made by Gruppo Campari, which produces the ruby-hued star of the Negroni, Boulevardier, and Jungle Bird cocktails.

Aperol’s bitter qualities make it ideal for mixing into drinks and punches, but this liqueur is most popular mixed with prosecco over a few ice cubes in a large wine glass and garnished with an orange slice for a classic Aperol spritz. The prosecco’s sweetness and lively fizz helps temper Aperol’s sharpness for better palatability among those less-accustomed to bitter flavors. I usually grab a bottle between $10 and $15, since it will be mixed. Adding a splash of soda water before serving is traditional for this lower-alcohol cocktail, but optional. If you’re looking for a stronger sip with a more vibrant orange color, simply omit.

I like this in a very large wine glass with lots of ice on a hot day (and don't skip the sunscreen!) —Marian Bull

What You'll Need
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Aperol Spritz
  • a few large ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 ounces Aperol
  • 1 splash Prosecco
  • 1 orange wedge or twist, to garnish
  1. Pour the Aperol over ice cubes in a large wine glass, tumbler, or mason jar.
  2. Top with about 3 ounces of Prosecco or until the mixture is a color that makes you happy.
  3. Garnish with orange, and serve. Be sure to have extra orange slices on hand—you're going to want a second.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Teresa
  • JohnZ
  • monpeasch
  • Peri Moritz
    Peri Moritz
  • kimikoftokyo
Marian Bull

Recipe by: Marian Bull


15 Reviews

Sara E. June 22, 2021
Last fall, I made a "winter" version with lambrusco instead of prosecco and a splash of orange juice instead of seltzer. Garnished with an orange slice. Everyone loved it.
OldGrayMare June 22, 2021
Have loved this cocktail for several years ever since a friend turned me onto it. Makes a great summer sipper (altho, living in Florida it has become my “winter sipper”).
Now, for the ghastly horrible hot summer nights, its a Porto Tonico (white port and tonic).
Teresa April 18, 2020
Sparking water topper allows you to have more,more,more. Couple of “twists” ..in Venice add a lovely olive for the perfect contrast taste/color but also because well, it’s Venice. And in my little Tuscan hilltown specify Spritz Royale for Prosecco otherwise dry white wine is used. All good .
JohnZ May 15, 2015
Try substituting cappelletti for the aperol. Cappelletti is a bit more bitter than aperol, but we have come to prefer it.
monpeasch February 19, 2015
I also discovered this cocktail in Italy some years ago. I asked the waiter what the orange drink was everyone was having. He said Aperol Spritz. I loved it and lucky for me, I can easily find Aperol at the Virginia ABC stores. I also add a splash of sparkling mineral water.
cpc February 18, 2015
I first discovered this refreshing summer cocktail in northern Italy and quickly became a fan. Now, thanks to Aperol's advertising campaign, it's readily available in the states. It's the perfect cocktail for people who don't drink much, especially on a warm day.
Peri M. October 1, 2014
One of our favorite summer cocktails also. One addition is we add a half ounce of St. Germaine (elderberry liqueur) and use the sparkling water.
kimikoftokyo July 31, 2014
Can I use sparkling rose ?
Marian B. July 31, 2014
I've never tried that but my gut response is "sure why not!"
kimikoftokyo July 31, 2014
alright thats good enough for me ! lol may change the flavor though maybe a dryer rose
Carl July 29, 2014
Finding the Aperol in State Liquor stores can be a chore at times.
MrsWheelbarrow July 28, 2014
I adore this cocktail, Marian!
Marian B. July 31, 2014
Me too! Next time you're in the city we'll drink them. (Book party refreshments???)
Exbruxelles July 22, 2014
I agree: Skip the soda water. This is the best summer drink ever.
Marian B. July 31, 2014