This classic Italian apéritif isn’t just good before a meal—it’s always spritz-o-clock in my book. You can use soda water instead of prosecco, but it’s much more fun to triple down on the alcohol.–Casie Vogel

2 hands, each holding a wine glass 3 quarters full of a bubbly orange cocktail with ice and an orange slice.

Aperol Spritz

5 / 2 votes
An Aperol spritz is a quintessential summer cocktail. Popular in Italy, Aperol is a lower alcohol content digestif but the addition of orange hard seltzer and prosecco make up for it in this iteration. Cin cin!
David Leite
CourseDrinks
CuisineItalian
Servings2 drinks
Calories256 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes

Ingredients 

  • Ice
  • 6 ounces Aperol*
  • 4 ounces prosecco or soda water
  • 1 can (12 ounce) orange hard seltzer
  • Orange wedges, for garnish

Instructions 

  • Fill two glasses with ice. Divvy the Aperol between the glasses.
  • Split the prosecco or soda water between the glasses.
  • Top each glass with half a can of seltzer. Garnish each glass with an orange wedge.

Notes

*What is Aperol?

An Italian apéritif bitter, Aperol has gained popularity in North America in recent years, especially as a refreshing summer cocktail. It has a very recognizable orange shade and, more importantly, a very recognizable taste. It’s quite bittersweet because of its combination of oranges, herbs, and roots, including gentian, rhubarb, and cinchona (which gives tonic water that similar distinct taste). It’s very similar to Campari, another Italian apéritif, but it has nearly half the alcohol content (a low 11%) and a less bitter taste.
The Hard Seltzer Cocktail Book

Adapted From

The Hard Seltzer Cocktail Book

Buy On Amazon

Nutrition

Serving: 1 servingCalories: 256 kcalCarbohydrates: 24 gProtein: 1 gSodium: 4 mgSugar: 1 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2021 Casie Vogel. Photo © 2021 David Leite. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

My go-to summertime drink is a classic Aperol spritz, so of course, I had to test this iteration using orange-flavored hard seltzer. I tested it with White Claw Tangerine.

2 wine glasses on a patio table, filled with a bubbly orange cocktail, ice and orange slices.

It wasn’t at all bad but it wasn’t nearly as good as the classic Aperol spritz using prosecco along with club soda or seltzer. I think the problem is that I’m not a huge fan of hard seltzer in the first place because I find that it has a bit of an artificial tasting edge, and unfortunately that came through in the cocktail. I also realize I’m in the minority and that a lot of people LOVE hard seltzer, so some will find this flavor appealing (including many of my friends!). So, while I’d recommend this to some people who I think would love this, personally, I’ll stick with my classic Aperol spritz!

Well, we’re having a heatwave, and it isn’t pretty, truth be told. Coming home from a tough day on the Atlantic, how could I NOT fix myself and my friend a luscious cocktail? I had all of the goodies on hand and so this Aperol spritz was a no-brainer. Time to indulge.

My latest discovery has been these adorable split bottles of prosecco. I am fortunate enough to live in an area, aka as New Jersey, where BYOB is common. The splits are wonderful when a full bottle of bubbly is not a great idea when driving. The split also works beautifully for two Aperol cocktails. My go-to has been made with prosecco along with seltzer and orange juice. Actually, I think I’ve always followed the recipe on the bottle of Aperol. The hard seltzer called for in this incarnation was perfetto. A variation on a theme, for sure, but an enhanced one. A wonderful addition to a sparkling summer offering.

When I got the chance to visit Italy, a good number of people were drinking these super-refreshing looking red drinks. When I returned to the states, however, I had a hard time loving the bitter cocktails made with Aperol and Campari. I decided that this was my summer to fall in love with them and was very excited to try this recipe.

I’ve decided there’s no more classic pairing than Aperol and orange, and this recipe kicks it up with the addition of orange seltzer. This is a great iteration of the Aperol spritz, and exactly what I needed to fall in love with that refreshing, red Italian drink.

Well, this is a winner! This spin on the Aperol spritz is summery, refreshing, and lets you make a special drink in minutes. I did use prosecco and White Claw for my drink and the proportions were perfect for two large wine glasses. We enjoyed it with appetizers outside while contemplating the long weekend. This lets you stretch a bottle of prosecco to make lots of friends happy.

Side note: this is a perfect Clemson Tiger Orange so I can see this as a football tailgate drink, especially for a brunchy-early game. (ok I guess this works for Tennessee, Texas, or Florida as well!)

I’d been meaning to try the ubiquitous Aperol spritz but just never did. Then, a mere day after I read this recipe, I received a bottle of Aperol AND a bottle of prosecco. Sometimes, the Universe works in mysterious (and delightful) ways.

I really enjoyed this cocktail. I’m not crazy about the flavored seltzer cocktails that are popular now but, in something like this, they work exceptionally well. It was easy to make, which is fantastic for a summer cocktail. I like something a little fancy on occasion but don’t always have the desire to be mixing and shaking in the heat. I used orange twists to garnish and we enjoyed them before dinner.

A Negroni is my summer drink of choice, made with either Campari or Aperol, depending on what’s in the cupboard. This recipe for Aperol spritz seems like a nice change of pace, but the hard seltzer made it a bit too sweet for my palate, and it seemed artificial in flavor. I made it again, this time replacing the hard seltzer with 2 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice, and 10 oz San Pellegrino sparkling water. That was perfection, less sweet, the bitterness came through, and no artificial aftertastes. A quick and easy afternoon cocktail for a hot summer’s day!

This was a delicious take on an Aperol spritz! The addition of the orange hard seltzer is brilliant! I have made this several times and it will now be my go-to summer cocktail.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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