Bubbly champagne, citrusy Aperol, and a splash of soda combine to make this classic Aperol Spritz Cocktail. This sunset-colored cocktail is perfect for beginning a beautiful meal, and they’re so easy to make!
An Easy, Refreshing Cocktail to Make at Home
This Aperol spritz is a classic aperitif, perfect for refreshing your mood and stimulating your appetite before a great meal. It’s a very popular cocktail, with a bittersweet orange flavor and the fragrant bubbliness of champagne or prosecco.
I like to serve Aperol spritz as a weekend, get-ready-to-relax cocktail. It just signals a pleasant change from the norm! The fizzy soda, classic champagne, and complex liqueur feel like an invitation to wind down, detach from routine, and get ready to enjoy something a well-prepared meal and a wonderful evening.
What does Aperol liqueur taste like?
Good question! If you’ve never had Aperol, you should know that it is slightly bitter, with a taste that is mainly made up of oranges. It’s made in Italy, and the makers use both bitter and sweet oranges, rhubarb, and various herbs to create a multilayered taste that’s light and complex at the same time.
What You’ll Need
To make an Aperol spritz, you can use just about any glass! Everyone seems to have a different opinion, but in general, a large wine glass is a popular option. Old fashioned, double old fashioned, collins glass… they’re all good!
- Aperol: Depending on your preference, plan on using between 1 ½ and 2 ounces of Aperol per glass.
- Champagne: The better the champagne, the better the spritz! You can also use prosecco.
- Soda Water: Just a splash of soda water completes this easy drink.
- Ice Cubes: You’ll want to serve your Aperol spritz over ice. Quality spring water ice gives the best taste.
- Triple Sec: This is optional, but it does add a nice touch if you want a stronger drink!
- Garnishes: You can decorate your drink with thinly sliced oranges, edible flowers, frozen berries, or mint leaves.
Can I substitute Campari for Aperol?
Yes, you can! Campari is very similar to Aperol, and works well in this recipe. However, keep in mind that Campari is a bit more intense in flavor, as well as higher in alcohol content.
How to Make an Aperol Spritz
Making these cocktails is super easy! For an extra refreshing touch, chill the glasses in the freezer ahead of time.
- Add the Ice. Fill each glass half full with ice cubes.
- Add the Aperol and Triple Sec. Next, pour in the Aperol, as well as the Triple sec if you’re using it.
- Add the Champagne. Add enough champagne (or prosecco) to nearly fill the glasses.
- Finish the Drinks. Add a splash of soda water to each glass, and stir the cocktails gently. Garnish, and serve immediately.
Tips for Success
So there you have it! A perfect pre-dinner cocktail. But before you start mixing up these bright, citrusy drinks, take a moment to check out these helpful tips:
- Control the Bitterness: If the spritz is too bitter, feel free to add a bit more champagne to the mixture.
- Control the Alcohol: To strengthen the drink, you can add triple sec, even omitting the soda water. To make a less alcoholic drink, omit the triple sec and increase the soda.
- Serve with Snacks: Aperitifs like Aperol spritz are meant to stimulate your tastebuds and put you in the mood for food, and this one does just that! So serve your Aperol spritz with something tasty. You’ll be glad you did! The section below has a few great appetizer ideas to get you started.
Herbal, citrusy, and a little bitter, Aperol spritz is perfect for pairing with rich and salty appetizers. Potato chips are a classic! Other ideas include:
- Goat Cheese: Whether you serve it with crackers or as part of a dish like Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates, this creamy, tangy, salty cheese brings out the best in an Aperol spritz. Or these Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Truffles!
- Wings: Sweet and sticky Hot Honey Butter Chicken Wings taste magical anyway, but especially when paired with Aperol and champagne!
- Crostini: Need an easy appetizer? Simple and refreshing Strawberry Brie Crostini are a fabulous choice. You’ll love the crunch of perfectly crisp crostini, topped any way you can imagine. These Cranberry Brie Bites also go great if it’s the holiday season.
- Dips: There are so many dips that go great with an Aperol spritz, but here are a few of my favorites I think you would enjoy: Hot Spinach Dip, Authentic Guacamole, Best Texas Caviar and Smoked Fish Dip!
And whatever other appetizers you enjoy! This is truly just the start of all the great savory apps that go perfectly with Aperol.
More Refreshing Cocktails
Looking for some fresh and fruity cocktails? Here are a few of my favorites:
- The Best Mojito
- Peach Moscow Mule
- Pineapple Coconut Mojito
- Peach Bellini
- The Best Coquito
- Frozen Mango Margarita
Aperol Spritz Cocktail Recipe
- 2 ounces Aperol, you can also try 1 ½ ounces, if you prefer it lighter
- 3 ounces of champagne or prosecco
- Splash of soda water
- Ice cubes
- Splash of triple sec, optional
- Thinly sliced oranges, edible flowers, frozen berries, or mint leaves
- Fill ½ a glass with ice, and chill your glasses in the freezer ahead of time.
- Add 1 ½ or 2 ounces of Aperol. If you decide to use Triple sec, add that as well.
- Add the prosecco or champagne
- Add a splash of soda water, and stir.
- Garnish with edible flowers, fresh mint, orange slices, or frozen berries.
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