The Aperol spritz is probably the most recognisable of the aperitif style drinks. Aperol is often said to be the less bitter, easier drinking version of Campari, but let’s not do it a disservice, it’s a delicious liquor made of sweet and bitter oranges, herbs and roots. When mixed harmoniously with soda and prosecco, and garnished with a slice of orange, this is the ultimate refreshing summer cocktail and a great addition to any menu.
Aperol, Prosecco, Soda, Orange.
*premium glassware pictured, event glassware may differ
The classic aperitif and the ultimate summer sipper, the Aperol Spritz is a cocktail that seems to grow in popularity every year.
When planning your mobile bar hire, an Aperol Spritz makes a great addition to a low-alcohol, aperitif style menu, a menu centred around classic Italian cocktails or a fizz-based menu that includes other classic continental drinks.
Aperol is only about 11% alcohol which makes the spritz a great low ABV option for afternoons or summer evenings. Aperol has a distinct bitter-sweet flavour that derives from the orange and other botanicals used in its production, for those who prefer a little more bitterness and strength in their aperitif, a Campari spritz may be a great choice to serve alongside it.
Campari is Aperol’s older, stronger cousin, this bitter liqueur also uses orange as its main ingredient but combines it with bitter herbs and a higher alcohol content to make for a stronger more complex flavour.
The Aperol spritz is part of a family of cocktails known as aperitifs, or ‘before-dinner-drinks’, these cocktails are often light in alcohol and designed to be drunk early in the evening, aperitifs are often associated with France and Italy, where ‘aperitivo hour’ is widely observed between about 6pm and 8pm every evening in the summer.
If you want to stick with an Italian theme for your bar hire there’s loads of other great Italian cocktails. A Shorter stronger alternative to the Aperol Spritz and a very popular drink in its own right; a Negroni might be a great edition to an Italian-styled cocktail menu.
Aperol Spritzes are traditionally topped with prosecco, so if you choose to include one in your bar hire you’ll have a ton of fizz on site. There are a huge range of other cocktails that include prosecco or champagne as an ingredient and you may want to feature some of these options on your menu. A particular crowd pleaser is the French 75, this gin drink takes the classic Tom Collins recipe of gin, lemon and sugar and tops with sparkling wine in place of soda.
If you’re planning on compiling a menu that includes the Aperol Spritz and want to know more about what cocktails could be featured alongside it make sure to ask your event organiser for more options or check out some other, low alcohol, Italian and aperitif-style cocktails from our list.
Aperol assures us that the secret recipe hasn’t changed since 1919, whether you believe that or not, it’s still delicious.
Italy can lay claim to some of the best drinks in the world, Barolo, Chianti, the ever-present Peroni beer. The Spritz, along with the Negroni, can definitely be considered ‘Italy’s drink’. It’s a simple mix of 3 parts prosecco, 2 parts Aperol and 1 part soda but the history of Aperol is a lot more complicated.
In the years following the Napoleonic wars, the Austro-Hungarian Empire took control over the northern part of Italy, which included Venice. Austrians then took to adding a splash of water to the local wine and eventually that wine became fortified with liquor and the water swapped from still to sparkling.
Aperol started to become a popular choice for Spritzes, however, it wasn’t as ubiquitous as it is today. It wasn’t until the Campari group bought Aperol, and used their enormous distribution and marketing channels to promote it, that it took off around the world.
Myths & Legends
The name ‘Spritz’ comes from the German spritzer meaning, ‘to spray’, this is a references to the ‘spray’ of water Austrian soldiers would add to local Venetian wines to soften their flavour. Originally this would have been a simple splash of still water but eventually this was replaced with soda, and the wine was replaced with a combination of sparkling wine and bitters or vermouth, leading to the spritz we know and love today.
The Guardian featured a piece on the rise in popularity of the Aperol Spritz and its cousins in 2018. They mention the rise of variations and spins on the increasingly popular cocktail:
“In the UK, not least with these sizzling temperatures, the rise of the spritz continues unabated. Some bars serve Aperol Spritz on tap, others have whole spritz-dedicated menus, serving up ever more creative spins on that original formula of aperitif-plus-wine-plus-soda: St-Germain elderflower liqueur with rose, maybe; or the Dandelyan bar in London’s Pantone spritz of “Plymouth gin, black rice, Cocchi Rosa, corn syrup and bubbles”; or, indeed, the alternative spritzes now popular in Venice.”
- Mina Holland, The Guardian – Thu 26th July 2018
Ingredients & Equipment
Aperol can’t really be substituted here but feel free to go mad on the sparkling wine, get something dry to help cut the sweetness and you’re on to a winner.
As this is a classic Italian drink, prosecco is recommended but try it with champagne, cava or even vinho verde for a different drinking experience.
- 50ml Aperol
- 75ml Prosecco or Dry Sparkling Wine
- Splash of Soda
- Orange Slice for Garnish
- Bar Spoon
- Wine Glass
- Cubed Ice
- Take your wine glass
- Using your jigger to measure, add the Aperol and prosecco to the glass
- Fill the glass with ice
- Give it a quick stir with your bar spoon to combine the ingredients and incorporate the ice
- Top with a generous splash of soda water and more ice if needed
- Garnish with an orange slice
- Serve and enjoy!
For larger groups of six or more students, we offer the option to take things private. Our classes are fully portable, and we are able to set ourselves up efficiently and professionally in a wide variety of locations and settings across the capital, the UK, and beyond. You name the location, and we’ll endeavour to make it happen.
Give one of our dedicated event organisers a call on 020 8003 7982. They’ll happily talk you through your options, and answer any questions you may have about both our mobile and in-house cocktail making classes.