How to Make the Cocktail Found All Over Italy

Aperol Spritz
Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

If you travel around Italy, in each cafe and restaurant you’ll notice a particular cocktail that everyone seems to be drinking. It’s red-orange and served in a large wine glass with ice and an orange slice. This cocktail is an Aperol Spritz, and it’s a delicious way to cool off during the hot summer months in Italy’s Mediterranean climate. Slightly sweet with a bitter aftertaste, this “aperitif” is usually drunk before a meal to get you in the mood to eat. Here’s how to make it.

You’ll need just four ingredients to start out. These are Aperol (specifically Aperol, not another liqueur), Prosecco, club soda or soda water, and an orange slice. You’ll also need a wine glass, ice, and a straw for the full experience.

The Aperol spritz is incredibly easy to make. Just pour equal parts Aperol and Prosecco over ice into your wine glass, then finish with a splash of club soda and drop in an orange slice. For more bitterness add more Aperol, and for more fizz and less alcohol add more sparkling water.

It’s okay to make some substitutions here if you need to. In particular, a different sparkling white wine could be used, and any kind of fizzy water. You can also skip the orange slice if you don’t have one on hand. Another common variation on this drink is the Campari spritz, which is much stronger and more bitter. You can also look around for other spritzes to try with other liqueurs, but Aperol is the most classic.