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Aperol Spritz, the best aperitif

Here’s the recipe of the iconic cocktail, the Aperol Spritz, that transports us straight to an italian terrace!


A star cocktail of all terraces, the Aperol Spritz has conquered the world in recent years.

Refreshing and light, with a beautiful festive color, bubbles and a delicious taste, it’s hardly surprising!

The Aperol Spritz, the emblematic cocktail of the Veneto

2 glasses of aperol spritz

This cocktail, made with Aperol and prosecco, was born in Italy and is a trademark of small terrace tables in Veneto.

Served with an olive and a slice of orange, with a few snacks, this is a must-have if you are ever planning a trip to Italy, especially Venice.

This is how I discovered this drink.

As it figured on my bucket list for Italy, it was the first stop on my 2010 trip there. It was ordered from the first restaurant we stopped by, taking a break from sightseeing.

Love at first sip!

A little bitterness, a little sparkling, a little sweetness … a perfect mix.

Aperol, what is it?

Aperol Spritz glasses

Aperol is a drink made from bitter oranges and various herbs including gentian, which has a beautiful bright orange color.

By comparison, Aperol is a bit smoother and sweeter than Campari, another italian aperitif made with macerated herbs that can also be served as a spritz or simply mixed with soda.

While it was more difficult to find in Quebec a few years ago, it’s not a problem anymore.

Not only is Aperol Spritz on the cocktail lists of every restaurant in town, it’s also easy to find at the SAQ.

The Aperol Spritz recipe

Prosecco, Aperol and a glass of Aperol Spritz

There are different recipes for Aperol Spritz but here is my favorite one, which is closest to what I have tasted in Italy.

For an Aperol spritz, Quebec version

But to prepare an Aperol Spritz, no need to limit yourself to Aperol since there are now several bitter aperitifs of the “aperol” type but made here in Quebec.

We think among others of Amermelade, a bitter Quebec aperitif that is very similar to it, or Les Iles or Noroi Aperitivo.

What to replace prosecco with?

Aperol Spritz

It is possible to make an Aperol Spritz without prosecco, either for taste or if you don’t have it on hand.

On the sparkling side, you can simply use a crémant, a cava or another sparkling wine. We recommend less champagne, because of the cost obviously, and its aromas of brioche which would distort the cocktail a little.

Another version that I really like, and which doesn’t involve opening a bottle of prosecco (especially when you just want one drink) is to make this recipe with Tonic Water, a bit like a gin and tonic, where Aperol replaces gin.

This creates a bit more bitterness in the cocktail.

Otherwise, you can simply opt for sparkling water.

What to garnish our Aperol Spritz glass with?

Aperol Spritz glass on a terrace with olives and tapas

Obviously, who says cocktail, says garnish for the finishing touch!

Here’s some ideas:

  • Lemon slices
  • Orange slices
  • A stick pricked with a green olive to go “Venice style”
  • A few leaves of basil or mint.

Cheers!

2 verres d'Apérol Spritz

Aperol Spritz

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

2 versions of this cult cocktail that brings us straight to a terrace in Italy

Ingredients

Version 1: Classic Aperol Spritz

  • 3 ounces of Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine)
  • 2 ounces of Aperol
  • 1 ounce of sparkling water

Version 2: The 50-50 Aperol Spritz

  • 50% Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine)
  • 50% Aperol
  • 1 splash of sparkling water

For service (optional)

  • A slice of orange
  • 1 green olive

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a glass with a few ice cubes
  2. Decorate with an orange slice and place a green olive in the glass, if desired.

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