This prosecco and Aperol cocktail is a lovely and compelling example of why the Italian aperitif Aperol, essentially a melding of bitters and liqueur distilled from herbal, orange, and vegetal flavors, is ubiquitous in Italy come summer. When the infused spirit is combined with a little effervescent sweetness in the form of sparkling wine, its bittersweet orange flavor is perfectly and elegantly tempered. Cin cin.Renee Schettler Rossi

Prosecco being added to a Prosecco and Aperol cocktail, with two partially filled glasses behind it.

Prosecco and Aperol Cocktail

5 / 6 votes
This prosecco and Aperol cocktail, with its subtle effervescence and slightly sweet, citrusy, herbal, bitter flavor profile, may just be the ultimate simple yet sophisticated sipper. Made with sparkling white wine and the classic aperitif along with a twist.
David Leite
CourseDrinks
CuisineItalian
Servings1 servings
Calories121 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 to 1 1/2 ounces Aperol* (see * below)
  • Prosecco, (chilled, natch)
  • Orange twist , (optional)

Instructions 

  • When you’re anticipating making this cocktail, rinse some fluted glasses and stick them straight in the freezer to chill. Even if they’re in there just 5 minutes, it’ll help keep your cocktail cooler longer.
  • Pour the Aperol into a well-chilled flute. Top it off with Prosecco and, if desired, garnish with an orange twist. Cin cin! [Editor's Note: That's Italian for "cheers!"]

Notes

*What You Need To Know About The Proportion Of Aperol To Prosecco

Kindly note, when you look at the ingredients list in this recipe, that there’s a rather large variance in the proportion of Aperol to prosecco. Start with the lesser amount of Aperol. For some, it’ll be too little. For others, it’s juuuuuuuuuust right. Go ahead and play with the proportions. Practice makes perfect. And when you do find your sweet spot, take note of the amounts for future reference and then settle into what folks are referring to as “an elegant and classic cocktail” and “a combination that’s magical in all ways.”
Canal House Pronto Cookbook

Adapted From

Canal House No. 8: Pronto

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Nutrition

Serving: 1 drinkCalories: 121 kcalCarbohydrates: 1 gProtein: 0.1 gSodium: 8 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 © 2013 Melissa Hamilton | Christopher Hirsheimer. Photo © 2013 Christopher Hirsheimer. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

LOVED this Prosecco and Aperol cocktail recipe! Aperol was something I never had before and instantly fell in love with. Loved the balanced sweet, herbal, orange, and tad bitter flavors in the liqueur. With the added splash of Zardetto prosecco, this made a very nice, cold, crisp, fizzy aperitif. I served it in a tall chilled glass and the color was tantalizing!

Oh yes! Prosecco. And Aperol. What’s not to like about this combination of stellar flavors and bubbles? The sweetness and frivolity of the prosecco melds perfectly with the deep, resonant, orangey herbal flavors of the Aperol to make a combination that’s magical in all ways. And putting those flutes into the freezer after a brief misting of water? Oh boy! You better try this at least once! THAT is the perfect trick that will win you hostess-with-the-mostest points and then some.

I love the mixture of bitter Campari and prosecco, so when I saw an Aperol and bubbly version it was a natural to give it a go. I’d never had Aperol, an Italian Amaro (a family of bitter liqueur) before, so this was also an excuse to buy a bottle. I was very pleasantly surprised by how well it worked with prosecco. It’s more floral than Campari and has almost a citrusy note to it that married perfectly with the dry prosecco I used. It’s also much lighter in alcohol than Campari, so it makes for a lighter drink, which means you can enjoy several of them.

Even before traveling in Italy last year, I was a huge fan of Campari and, more specifically, the classic Negroni cocktail. But I’d never before tried the similar liqueur known as Aperol. Boy, that was about to change! It seemed as though everyone in Italy drank this lovely combination of prosecco and Aperol. You couldn’t go to a café or bar, anywhere in the country and not hear or see someone drinking this libation.

So I gave it a whirl as well. I loved the lovely bittersweet orange flavor of the Aperol. To me, it’s a bit more floral than Campari and goes very well with bubbly prosecco. An elegant and classic cocktail, this recipe makes it easy to make and enjoy at home as well. Cin cin, indeed!

Sitting at a table in Ravello Square sipping Prosecco and Aperol. What could be better. This is my favorite Italian cocktail and this version does not disappoint. The bitter, herbal tang of the Aperol contrasts wonderfully against the dry yet sweet prosecco. Depending on your taste, you can adjust the proportion of Aperol to prosecco to make it more or less bitter. Add a lemon or lime twist to finish it off beautifully.

Don’t forget to keep your Aperol in the fridge. Cin cin!




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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Recipe Rating




16 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ll never forget my our first introduction to Spritz, which was in Italy. We noticed all of these patrons at a bar hovering over gobs of finger foods and drinking these neon drinks, I asked what’s up, of course in my broken Italian. The gentleman stated as long as we “stood” at the counter, we could drink these refreshing cocktails and eat all we wanted and of course, we did. All over Italy!

  2. 5 stars
    This is now my go-to drink. A friend of mine described it as “Summertime in a Glass,” and that’s now how I introduce it to people. I’m planning on serving it at my mom’s big b-day party on the 4th of July!

    1. Love everything about this, Lisa! Especially that title. Kindly wish your mom a lovely birthday from all of us! Cin cin!

  3. This is the second time this week that I’ve seen this drink so I am taking it as a sign from God that I need to have one TODAY. Found your site via David Lebovitz, so glad I did!

    1. Tammi, well, I’d say that’s a sign. Let me know what you think. And a big thanks to my buddy David for sending you over.

      1. I was wrong, not a sign from God but a gift. Also picked up what I needed for your cherry cordial recipe that you posted. Cheers!

        1. Well, I’m glad I could be part of that gift. Enjoy it often. If you ever have questions, I’m here.