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Aperol Spritz Cocktail

It's about time for another cocktail around this blog, I think.  I want to introduce you to a drink that is wildly popular in Italy, especially in the Veneto where it originates, but is hardly known in the United States.  It is made with Aperol, which began to be imported into this country only about three years ago.  It is the Aperol Spritz and you can get a little of the general spirit of the drink with this Italian TV ad:



The Aperol Spritz is made with Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine), Aperol and a splash of soda water.  As an aperitivo, it's a great way to start a meal because the Aperol is low in alcohol (11%) and tastes light and refreshing. It doesn't ruin your appetite, it stimulates it.  Aperol is an orange flavored spirit and a nice alternative to Campari, for those who find that drink just a little too bitter (including me). Campari makes Aperol, but Aperol is fruitier and lighter. I would even like to bend the rules and try making a Negroni with Aperol instead of the traditional Campari. Even though I prefer the Aperol to Campari, some people do not as you can see when the Queen of Food herself, Ruth Reichl, had an Aperol Spritz at Lupa in New York and twittered about it:


Like pop?  Gee, I wouldn't go that far - Aperol is still on the bitter side.  It has become much easier to find in most large liquor stores, so pick up a bottle and judge for yourselves.

I garnish my Aperol Spritz with a big thick slice of orange, which continues to infuse the drink with orangey goodness as I sip it.  in Italy, they garnish it with a slice of orange and an olive.  Odd combination, but it's the traditional thing to do.   

Aperol Spritz



for a printable version, click here

for 1 drink:


  • 3 ounces Prosecco (or any sparkling wine)
  • 1 ounce Aperol
  • splash of soda water, sparkling water, or club soda
  • garnish of orange


Pour the sparkling wine into a glass of ice cubes.  Add the Aperol and then a splash of sparkling water.  Float a nice thick slice of orange on top - it will infuse the drink with orangey goodness even more as you sip.

Want to try another Italian cocktail?  How about a lemony Sgroppino?

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (44)

First of your blog. I'm thirsty just reading it. Currently living in the Veneto and this is a must have drink before dinner. I however, prefer Campari.

March 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAFNBroadcaster

Wonderful post... Very informational and educational as usual!

Acai Optimum

March 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAcai Optimum

Pour me one Elaine, sounds refreshing!

March 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermarie

I love your blog, so happy I found it!
Aperol Spritzs, well, they are the only drink I drink since having them in Venice! When people ask me what it tastes like, the only way I can describe it is it tastes like grapefruit liquer. I squeeze lots of fresh Florida oranges into the mix of white wine and Aperol, so refreshing!
I tried to find it in Pennsylvania and the gentleman said that the State of Pa does not carry it in their stores( PA runs the liqour stores in that state). In Florida, the only store I found it in is Total Wine and Liquor, they only carry 3 bottles at a time which I promptly buy to stock up for when I go home to PA.
Again, I think your blog is great, so informative and creative. Keep up the good work!

March 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

I've got to try this. I've never had aperol.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterciaochowlinda

Lovely! Aperol spritz takes me back to the springtime visits I made to Italy when I was living in Austria. The weather had just started to warm up, and in the late afternoon all the cafes would be filled with Italians drinking aperol. Just seeing the orange in the glass makes me think of springtime.

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSydney

Never tried Aperol, will have to give it a try. I've had my fair share of amari (see: href="!

All the best,
Vince from

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScordo

I hope you have a great time in Utah! Since it's spring break, I'm guessing you're going to Southern Utah, but let me know if you're making it as far north as Salt Lake! (Sigh, so many good spring break memories in Southern Utah but no trips this year.)

March 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKalynskitchen

I love your blog! The food is so beautiful, & lovely, clear writing!

Thank you so much! :)

March 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlena

I tought it was a well known product in USA...

March 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFabio

Your photography is stunning!

March 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHalf Assed Kitchen

I think this photo is more attractive than the cocktail.

March 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterchina sim card

I am fairly certain that I have never come across Aperol but now I am going to have to make a point of finding it. These look refreshing and perfect for the spring! And I love love love the photograph!

March 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGaby

We were just in Italy in April 2010 - this drink became my favorite and I have since been trying to find it to purchase - I live in Canada but can get to North Dakota easily so can have it sent there - any of the liquor stores I have asked have never heard of it. Can anyone tell where to order it online?Thanks

October 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwindy

For those travelling to or living in France, Aperol is now available in Nicolas and Monoprix retail stores!

March 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSpritzman

I think aperol tastes like orange cough syrup. However, I did prefer Lo Spritz Cynar, which is an artichoke liqueur and more bitter than Campari. For those who prefer something between Aperol and Campari, there is Spritz Select.

May 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin

Big fans of this in our household but always feel the Bresciano name is much more evocative of sitting lake side in Lombardia watching the sun set. Il Pirlo!!

Can't wait to try your other Aperol drink.

July 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHarry

Traveling in Italy at the moment with friends and noticed everyone having these orange looking cocktail drinks at all the bars we were passing by...decided to stop and have a drink late one afternoon in this amazing piazza, Santo Spirito, whilst in Florence. Not only was the place amazingly relaxed and full of atmosphere, but the new cocktail we indulged in was a real treat. One week later, we are stopping to have one or even two late every afternoon. Planning to check out the duty free to see if it available on the way home.

September 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

Elaine, I was sure I read on your blog a recipe with Aperol, gin (maybe vodka) and soda? I finally found the Aperol and now I can't find the recipe... Am I imagining that I saw it here? :)

September 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCindysoowho

From The Italian Dish:

Cindy: Yes - if you go to the top of my blog and click "recipe index" you will see at the top of that there is a category of "drinks". Two drinks contain Aperol - the Aperol Sprtiz and the Collinzano.


September 14, 2011 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

just got back from vacation in Bavaria (the southern part of Germany) and was introduced to the Aperol spritz when I was offered prosecco, It was yummy & is very popular their too!

September 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterannie

Had my first Aperol spritzer on Fernando
Beach in Positano this past summer. First thing
I bought when I got home, you guessed it, a bottle of Aperol!!!

October 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

Never heard of this drink, but I will soon try it! Thanks for the information!

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate

For the Aperol spritz, instead of the splash of sparkling water or soda, add a splash of (preferably) draft beer, as an Italian bartender served it to me. Adds a nice degree of complexity to the mix.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbecky

For the Aperol spritz, instead of the splash of sparkling water or soda, add a splash of (preferably) draft beer, as an Italian bartender served it to me. Adds a nice degree of complexity to the mix.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbecky

Bartenders are (finally) using this in Honolulu. Can't wait to taste this. In Italy, is it a green or black olive?

May 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSoos

Enjoyed Aperol Spritz each evening in Garda. For me, the perfect long drink whilst watching the world go by.

May 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVincent


I was wondering if you had a recipe for limencello. I want to make some, but the recipes I have seen vary so greatly (from 4 hours to 84 days) that I do not know what to do. I trust your blog, so was hoping you may have some pointers.


June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

From The Italian Dish:

Shannon: You are in luck! I am currently in the process of making limoncello (inspired by our Amalfi trip) and will be posting it soon. We are doing 2 batches with two different steeping times and sugar amounts. I will be posting the recipe that we like best. The recipes are both from the Amalfi Coast. Look for it soon!

June 5, 2012 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

Ours had an Olive on a long tooth pick in Venice.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdavid

Aperol Spritz will be my latest liqueur cocktail recipe! Thanks for this one. My Italian friend has been making this during parties but I haven't had the chance to taste this one.

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristian Rene Friborg

Just returned from Venice; discovered this drink in a pizzeria while there and cannot wait to make this drink!

April 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSonia Colon

I also acquired a taste for Aperol while on vacation - Munich. The spritz is popular is Southern Germany and Austria. It was the Austrians who introduced the concept of the cocktail in Venice during the their period of rule, 'spritz' is after all a German word (although the Aperol version is a much more recent variation).
The strength of your Aperol Spritz depends on which side of the Alps you drink it. Although it is 11% in Italy, the bottles exported to Germany are a more potent 15%.
I live in the UK and I buy bottles of 'Bitterol' in my local 'Lidl' supermarkets for about $10 - it tastes the same and is distilled and bottled in Italy - but as Lidl is a German based supermarket chain the bottles are 15%.

June 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStephen Slominski

I just returned after a top-to-bottom trip in Italy, and was searching for the recipe. Thanks for posting it- I'll go search for the aperol. In Milano, the spritz was commonplace. In fact, it was unusual to be next to the duomo and NOT seeing restaurant patrons drinking it in the afternoon. Very refreshing without being sweet. In Puglia it wasn't nearly as well-known. When I ordered a "spritz", they asked if I was meaning an "aperol spritz." In Rome, spritz was again commonplace. It must be that provincial Pugliese atmosphere once you get south of Pescara. Still my favorite region.

July 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWilliam

Stephen Slominski, good tip regarding the Lidl Bitterol! I had my first Aperol Spritz in Dessau, Germany last month (it's clearly very popular there judging by the comments) and am about to introduce friends and family to it; it's readily available in Sainsburys stores in London at least. Will test out the Lidl version next.

July 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterR

I just returned from Italy where I enjoyed drinking an Aperol Spritz. Does anyone know where I can buy Aperol in the USA?

August 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCammy

I also feel in love with this drink in Italy this summer. Please let me know if you can order Aperol over the Internet. Thanks much.

October 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMomica Phillips

Like many others, thoroughly enjoyed the experience of discovering the Aperol and Campari Spritz during our recent holiday in Italy. Lovley way to end an afternoon of sightseeing. I liked both of them and during our holiday also discovered limonecello - very yum! Our local bottleshops do sell both of them, so I'm looking forward to trying them again over a summer BBQ. thanks for the recipes and I look forward to visiting your blog again

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCathy Triffett

I have made a Negroni with Aperol instead of Campari. I also changed the Gin and used Grey Goose Le Poire Vodka (friends don't like Gin) and it was great! Mmmmm I could go for one now!

February 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaria Patane`

I just got back from Italy - Florence, Rome and Positano. It was my first try at a Aperol Spritz and I LOVED it. Already bought some now that I am back in the States and making one as I type!! Delisioso! Ciao!

June 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterValerie

I'm so happy to have found this recipe! I was in Italy last Sept, Oct. While in Riomaggiore we had an awesome cocktail like this with Rosso Antico instead of Aperol. Would this be the same recipe? We can't buy Rosso Antico in Canada or the US but I prefer it over Aperol.

July 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJanice

I love your blog! I live in a Stuttgart Germany
(Florida born) And recently enjoyed this drink at a friends home
In Tampa (friend is from Bavaria region) I came
Home and immediately started seeing them
EVERYWHERE! Love it ...... I found bitterol and
Use it instead €3.99 at Lidl prosecco €1.99
Cheap drink fantastic taste

April 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDesiree

Elaine, We discovered these in Istria Croatia and have been drinking them ever since! We order from Tom's by the case and get from duty free whenever possible. It seems they are gaining popularity here, with their perfect balance of tart, sweet, bitter, sour. Love this post!

October 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

Cocktail of spring freshness! I like this

April 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJane Ul

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