Aperol Spritz Cocktail Recipe + History

The Flavor Fix connoisseurs have the best cocktail recipes, including our Aperol Spritz cocktail recipe. This fun little apéritif is trending, and for good reason.

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Aperol Spritz: From Tiresome to Trending

Just like fashion trends that regularly cycle back into pop culture’s forefront, foods and drinks do the same. Mom jeans are back, and so is the Aperol Spritz. You can see the characteristic stemmed glasses with their striking reddish-orange contents and orange garnish everywhere.

But what takes an Aperol Spritz cocktail recipe from ho-hum to noteworthy? Only four ingredients, a splash of razzmatazz, and a little know-how.

What Is Aperol?

Aperol is a popular and versatile alcoholic cocktail. Whether you pour it over ice and add a little lemon and sugar for an Aperol sour or go classic with Prosecco, hardly any other spirit is as adaptable as Aperol.

Although it’s usually consumed as an apéritif (a beverage you drink before your meal), Aperol isn’t uncommon to drink as a nighttime cocktail. It’s bright orange, with a complex herbal aroma and vanilla notes. It has a rounded and velvety texture and lingering notes of wood and orange with a delightful bitter aftertaste.

The History Behind the Aperol Spritz Cocktail Recipe

Our mixologists have a deep appreciation for bubbly Italian drinks and would love to tell you about the rich history behind Aperol and the Aperol Spritz cocktail recipe.

Brothers Luigi and Silvio Barbieri invented Aperol in 1919 after inheriting their father’s liquor company. They experimented for seven years before creating the neon-colored Aperol and presenting it as their new creation at a trade fair in Padua, Italy.

The original Aperol recipe is relatively complex. It’s a bitter liqueur originally containing 11% alcohol made from many herbs and extracts from bitter orange, rhubarb, and gentian and cinchona bark.

In northern Italy, particularly in the Veneto region, it was common practice decades ago to mix Aperol with Prosecco to create a light, sparkling cocktail that was usually taken as an apéritif. After Aperol was distributed exclusively in northern Italy and South Tyrol for decades, a modified version specially designed for Germany became popular in the 1970s and ’80s.

Spirits enthusiasts and people familiar with the restaurant and beverage scene always discuss whether Aperol is just a short-lived fad or whether it can provide a permanent basis for various cocktails. The drink has been around for over 100 years, so we don’t think Aperol is going anywhere. After all, it’s been on the American market for over ten years, and its popularity has remained unbroken.

After Gruppo Campari acquired Aperol in the early 2000s, the Aperol Spritz steadily made its way across the Atlantic, becoming the drink of choice at social-media-friendly events like The Governor’s Ball and BottleRock, triggering a surge of popularity stateside that’s still going strong today.

What’s to Love About the Aperol Spritz?

Aperol Spritzes are ultra-refreshing, not-too-sweet bubbly cocktails.

The Aperol Spritz has developed quite a reputation in recent years and is offered in almost every bar and countless trendy nightclubs. When it comes to alcohol content, the Aperol Spritz is fairly tame compared to other popular alcoholic drinks, ensuring you won’t get too tipsy too quickly.

Studies show that, in general, an Aperol Spritz contains just 9% alcohol. Compared to some white wines with 10% to 15% alcohol, an Aperol Spritz will keep you more hydrated and less drunk. Some cocktails go as high as 24% ABV, but not this cheery little concoction.

So, if you want to drink more but remain relatively sober, an Aperol Spritz is ideal. And because of its refreshing fruity flavor, it’s the perfect summer companion for a cannabis and cocktails get-together.

a glass of aperol spritz

How to Make an Aperol Spritz

You can mix Aperol in many ways to create lots of fun, flavorful drinks. Here are a few tips before starting your Aperol Spritz cocktail recipe experimentation.

A proper Aperol Spritz should look like a golden orange sunset and taste like a sweet summertime treat. For a basic Aperol Spritz recipe, you only need four ingredients.

  • Prep Time 5 Minutes
  • Total Time 5 Minutes
  • Serves 1 People
  • Calories 158 kcal


  • 1 orange slice
  • ¾ ounce club soda
  • 1 ½ ounces Aperol
  • 4 ½ ounces Prosecco
  • Ice cubes


  1. The Aperol has a zesty orange flavor on its own, along with a dash of vanilla and a complex bouquet of herbal aromas.
  2. Add prosecco - it is a low-cost Italian sparkling wine, and any fizzy sparkling water works well for this Aperol Spritz recipe.
  3. Finally, the slice of orange is optional because it’s only a garnish, but it fancies up a simple drink.


You could create a denser-tasting drink by mixing Prosecco and Aperol in equal parts, but it won’t be as refreshing as the traditional Aperol Spritz recipe. For the classic before-meal Aperol Spritz cocktail, stick with the lighter formula. Of course, if you’re seeking something heavier, change it up and make it your own.

Other Aperol Recipes

Here are some optional Aperol recipes that are basic enough to get you started using this delicious Italian drink.

Aperol Orange Recipe

An alternative to the classic Aperol Spritz is the Aperol Orange. Simply replace half of the Prosecco with orange juice and get a sweeter, fruitier taste.

Aperol Sour Recipe

For an Aperol Sour, you need:

  • 1 ¾ ounces Aperol
  • 1 ½ ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
  • Ice cubes

Pour everything into a glass and enjoy!

Aperol Grapefruit Recipe

For a refreshing Aperol Grapefruit, you need:

  • 1 lime slice
  • 1 ounce Aperol
  • 7 ounces grapefruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Ice cubes

Same as the other recipes, simply pour all ingredients into a glass and enjoy!

You can consider these recipes a foundation for experimentation. Explore the unique qualities of different types of club soda and Prosecco, or give mineral water a go, which is rich in minerals and varies the flavor of any cocktail.

Aperol Spritz: An Anytime Cocktail

America hasn’t escaped the growing popularity of this Italian cocktail. Today, you can usually find it in various bars, restaurants, and cocktail lounges. Thanks to its versatility, it’s the best daytime apéritif and nighttime cocktail for every occasion.

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