This Aperol spritz cocktail recipe is easy to make – a gorgeous balance of sweet, bitter and fizz. A great Italian cocktail for summer!
As someone who typically avoids sugar and processed foods, I find those instincts curiously dampened when it comes to booze – particularly delicious cocktails. So it was with great enthusiasm that I greeted Aperol spritz, the ubiquitous Italian aperitif. A bittersweet, refreshing mix of herbal Aperol liqueur, sparkling wine and soda water, it is available at pretty much every bar and café in sunny Italy.
Certainly in Chioggia, the beautiful fishing town south of Venice that I visited last week for work (€2.50 a pop!).
I'm told it takes its colour from both bitter and sweet oranges (the actual recipe is secret). I sincerely hope this is the case, as that particular shade of lurid orange is one I tend to avoid in food and drink.
That being said, I was always destined to love Aperol spritz – the combination of liqueur and fizzy wine has long held a place in my heart. But here it takes on a different tone, served as a long drink with plenty of ice and a little soda water – quite different to my other favourite European sparkling cocktail, cassis royale. Sweet, bitter, herbal, fruity and refreshing, Aperol spritz is the perfect summer cocktail.
The other great thing about Aperol spritz (although it's not so great for slowing you down should you be both making and consuming these drinks) is that it's incredibly easy to make. No squeezing, muddling or shaking, no special equipment. Just pouring, perhaps a little stir and then out come the garnishes.
A slice of beautiful blood orange is very traditional to finish the drink, as is a salty green olive or two. The latter make a great flavour contrast, by the way, if you're looking to serve these drinks with something a little healthier than the usual crisps.
- plenty of ice
- 2 parts Aperol liqueur
- 3 parts sparkling white wine (I love cava!)
- 1 slice blood orange
- 2 green olives
for the spritz
- In that order! If the glass is very full of ice, you might want to give it a little stir.