We’re going to Italy this summer, so I’m celebrating with this classic Aperol spritz recipe! Aperol spritzes are ultra refreshing, not-too-sweet bubbly cocktails.
A proper Aperol spritz tastes like summertime in Italy and looks like a golden orange sunset. I’ll gladly sip one on our front porch now, overlooking our overgrown front yard, and later, with a view of the Italian Riviera.
The Aperol spritz has been in the spotlight over the past week, since the New York Times boldly declared that “The Aperol Spritz Is Not a Good Drink.” Grub Street shot back that the “Entire Internet Agrees Aperol Spritz Is, in Fact, Good.”
I, for one, find the Aperol spritz to be entirely delightful. Both articles are written with the assumption that you have tried an Aperol spritz, but what if you haven’t? I vote that we all make some this weekend and decide for ourselves.
Aperol Spritz Ingredients
These cocktails require four basic ingredients, plus ice.
Only Aperol will do here. Aperol is a bright orange apéritif. The brand describes the flavors as, “zesty orange with complex herbal scents harmonized with a touch of vanilla.” Look for Aperol near the liqueurs or amaros at the liquor store.
Prosecco is an inexpensive Italian sparkling wine similar to Spanish Cava or French Champagne. I recommend choosing a dry (brut) Prosecco so you drink doesn’t turn out too syrupy or sweet. Good choices range from 12 to 18 dollars.
3) Club soda
For some fizzy dilution. Any unflavored sparkling water will work. I keep cans of sparkling water in my pantry for this purpose.
4) Slice of fresh orange
You can skip this if you don’t have it, but an orange slice is the classic garnish for an Aperol spritz.
How to Make an Aperol Spritz
Aperol spritz cocktails are unbelievably easy to make. No cocktail shaker or fancy equipment required!
You’ll simply fill a wine glass with ice, then add Aperol, Prosecco, club soda and a slice of orange.
How to Adjust Your Aperol Spritz
The generally accepted ratio is equal parts Aperol and Prosecco plus a splash of club soda. However, you can play around with the ratio until your Aperol spritz tastes exactly the way you like it. I like mine with a little more Prosecco than Aperol.
Make it less bitter
Aperol’s bitter notes can take some getting used to, so you can reduce the bitterness by using less Aperol and more Prosecco.
Make it less boozy
As written, your Aperol spritz is around 11 percent alcohol content by volume (Aperol is 11% ABV and Prosecco is 12%). To make it even lower in alcohol content, use proportionally more club soda and less Aperol and Prosecco.
What to Serve with Your Aperol Spritz
The aperol spritz is commonly served as an apéritif. Apéritifs are designed to be served before a meal to stimulate the appetite. They’re typically lightly alcoholic and more dry than sweet.
Serve your Aperol spritzes with Italian or general Mediterranean-flavored appetizers. Keep in mind that Aperol is on the bitter side. Salty, creamy/fatty and sweet foods take the edge off bitter flavors.
Here are some simple options that pair well:
- Olives or Torn Olives with Almonds, Celery & Parmesan
- Goat cheese, fresh mozzarella, or burrata with crusty bread (perhaps with olive oil and/or good jam)
- Fresh fruit, such as grapes, oranges and strawberries
- Caprese Skewers or Mediterranean Tomato & Feta Dip
- Popcorn drizzled with olive oil (why not?)
Please let me know how you like Aperol spritz cocktails in the comments! I really love hearing from you, and hope these bubbly cocktails become your go-to summer patio drink.
Looking for more refreshing cocktails? Here are a few of my favorites, and you can view all of my cocktail recipes here.
Classic Aperol Spritz
- Prep Time: 3 minutes
- Total Time: 3 minutes
- Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
- Category: Cocktail
- Method: Poured
- Cuisine: Italian
Learn how to make a classic Aperol spritz! These bubbly Italian cocktails are refreshing and so easy to make. Aperol spritzes are best made one by one, so the recipe is written to yield one cocktail and you can make more as necessary. Cheers!
- 3 ounces (1 part) Aperol
- 3 ounces (1 part) dry Prosecco
- 1 ounce (a splash) club soda or unflavored sparkling water
- Orange slice, for garnish
- Add ice to a wine glass until it is nearly full. Pour in the Aperol (I usually eyeball this and pour until I’ve filled about one-third of the glass).
- Pour in an equal amount of Prosecco. Top your drink off with a splash of club soda and add a slice of orange. Enjoy!
Make it less bitter: Use less Aperol and more Prosecco.
Make it less boozy: Use more club soda, and less Aperol and Prosecco.
Recommended equipment: I really love the stemless wine glasses (affiliate link) shown in these photos. They are my everyday wine drinking glass, and I almost never break them.