Aperol Spritz | Cotswold Cocktail School
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Aperol Spritz

Cotswold Cocktail School - Aperol Spritz Cocktail Recipe

ABV 23% / 3 alcoholic units

Primary spirit: Rum

A Brief History of the Aperol Spritz

The Aperol Spritz, though a classic Italian cocktail, gained international popularity in recent years. Aperol, the key ingredient, was first created in 1919 in Padua, Italy, by the Barbieri brothers. It was intended to be a lighter, lower-alcohol alternative to other bitters and liqueurs of the time.

The Aperol Spritz, as we know it today, evolved in the 1950s when it was first introduced as a cocktail in the Veneto region, particularly in Venice. Its popularity gradually spread across Italy and beyond, becoming a beloved aperitif, especially during warm summer months.

The cocktail's iconic bright orange hue and bittersweet taste, combined with its refreshing qualities, made it a go-to choice for those seeking aperitivo hour in Italy. Today, it's a symbol of Italian aperitif culture and a must-try for visitors to Italy.

Taste and Flavour Profile

The Aperol Spritz is celebrated for its refreshing and bittersweet flavour profile:

  • Aperol: Aperol, the heart of the cocktail, is an Italian aperitif with a bright orange hue and a distinct bittersweet taste. It offers notes of orange, herbs, and a touch of rhubarb.
  • Prosecco: Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine, contributes effervescence and a touch of fruity sweetness, creating a lively and celebratory character.
  • Soda Water: A splash of soda water adds a refreshing and bubbly quality, mellowing the bitterness of the Aperol and extending the drink.
  • Orange Slice and Aperol-Soaked Orange Twist: Garnished with an orange slice and a twist of orange zest soaked in Aperol, the cocktail boasts a vibrant citrus aroma and visual appeal.

The result is a cocktail that's vibrant, effervescent, and lightly bitter, with a perfect balance of citrus and herbal notes—a sip of Italian sunshine.

Food Pairings

Enhance your Aperol Spritz experience with these delightful food pairings:

  • Antipasto Platter: An antipasto platter featuring cured meats, cheeses, olives, and bruschetta complements the Aperol Spritz's Italian roots.
  • Light Appetisers: Enjoy the cocktail with light appetisers such as caprese salad, seafood salads, or grilled vegetables.
  • Fresh Seafood: The Aperol Spritz pairs beautifully with fresh seafood dishes, like shrimp cocktail, ceviche, or oysters.
  • Fresh Fruit: Savor the cocktail with fresh fruit platters or fruit salads for a burst of citrusy flavors.

Bar Equipment

  • Jigger
  • Wine/spritz glass


  • 60 ml Aperol
  • 90 ml Prosecco
  • 30ml soda water
  • Orange slice to garnish
  • Ice cubes


  • Fill a large wine/spritz glass with ice cubes
  • Pour the Aperol over the ice
  • Add the Prosecco
  • Finish with a splash of soda water.
  • Stir gently to combine the ingredients.
  • Garnish with an orange slice 

What's the best Prosecco for an Aperol Spritz?

Choosing the best Prosecco for an Aperol Spritz is essential to achieving the perfect balance of flavors and effervescence. Ideally, you'll want a Prosecco that is dry, crisp, and not overly sweet, as it should complement the slightly bitter and herbal notes of Aperol. Here are some recommended Prosecco options for your Aperol Spritz:

  • La Marca Prosecco: La Marca is a widely recognized and well-regarded Prosecco. It's known for its bright, clean, and fruity profile, making it an excellent choice for a refreshing Aperol Spritz.
  • Ruffino Prosecco: Ruffino Prosecco is another popular option, offering a balanced and dry taste with notes of apple and pear. It pairs nicely with Aperol's bittersweet profile.
  • Zonin Prosecco: Zonin Prosecco is a trusted Italian brand with a fresh and crisp character. It's a great choice for those who prefer their Aperol Spritz on the drier side.
  • Mionetto Prosecco: Mionetto is known for its elegant and well-balanced Prosecco. It has a hint of green apple and a smooth finish, making it a delightful partner for Aperol.
  • Santa Margherita Prosecco: Santa Margherita Prosecco is celebrated for its quality and versatility. It offers a harmonious blend of fruity and floral notes, which can complement the Aperol Spritz's flavors.

When selecting a Prosecco for your Aperol Spritz, keep in mind that it's generally recommended to opt for a "Brut" Prosecco, as it denotes a dry style with minimal residual sugar. This dryness balances the Aperol's sweetness, creating a harmonious cocktail.

Ultimately, the choice of Prosecco is a matter of personal preference, so feel free to explore different brands and styles to find the one that suits your taste. The goal is to create an Aperol Spritz that's as delightful and refreshing as a sunny afternoon in an Italian piazza.

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