Classic Italian Aperol Spritz Recipe for Summer 2024 (2024)

Table of contents

  • Where was spritz invented?
  • What is in a spritz?
  • Ingredients for 1 Serving/Glass
  • Instructions
  • notes
  • Traditional Italian Spritz: tips and advice
  • Why is Aperol Spritz so popular?
  • Spritz Variations to the Original Recipe
  • What’s the difference between Campari and Aperol?
  • What’s Cynar?
  • What is Select?

When it comes to co*cktails and aperitifs, the Aperol spritz is one of the first recipes jumping off people’s minds. The classic Italian Aperol spritz recipe is one of the most requested by people looking for a refreshing drink to accompany their bits and nibs.

The spritz co*cktail rhymes with Italy and La Dolce Vita: it doesn’t matter where you are, because as soon as you start drinking a spritz, you will immediately feel in Italy.

For us, Italians living abroad, the spritz represents home, and that’s why we’re so passionate about it: we try a spritz co*cktail everywhere we go, we have a list of places where it is delicious, and places where it’s just meh.

We are demanding when it comes to the Classic Italian Spritz Recipe, and that’s why we want to share with you the traditional recipe of this spritz as we make in Italy.

Where was spritz invented?

The origins of this co*cktail are really unknown and finding the real ones is not so easy. It is sure that it was originally born in the Veneto region, and today it’s Veneto’s signature co*cktail.

The term spritz seems to derive from the Austrian spritzen, which means “to spray,” and for transitive properties, it can be seen as the act of adding sparkling water. The soldiers passing by in the Veneto region couldn’t stand the wine from Veneto and started to dilute it with sparkling water.

The spritz as we know it today was born around 1920 – 1930 in the Veneto region, during the official presentation of Aperol drink at the Padua fair in 1919. In short, Venice and Padua are competing for this recipe.

The inhabitants of the so-called Triveneto region claim that the real one is prepared by mixing white wine and sparkling water because the aim has always been, with the spritz, to prevent those who spend too much time at the bar getting drunk; Aperol was apparently added later and it is no coincidence that still today it is customary to ask for a smooth spritz even if the “exported” and known everywhere is the red one with Aperol.

Today there are different versions of the Aperol spritz and the diatribe is always open, just like it happens for carbonara pasta: there are those who use Campari, those who use Aperol, those who mix wine and sparkling water but in all cases, the result is always guaranteed even if the classic recipe is based on Aperol.

Classic Italian Aperol Spritz Recipe for Summer 2024 (1)

What is in a spritz?

The recipe of the spritz calls for Prosecco, Aperol, and sparkling water. It’s served over ice in a wine glass or lowball glass with an orange wedge garnish. To follow the original recipe and obtain a traditional Italian spritz co*cktail, you don’t have to change the order of the ingredients when making it. If you do so, the final result will change. Aperol is heavier than prosecco or white wine, so if you mix it immediately with the other ingredients, it deposits on the bottom, and it does not return the flavor or the color.

So, when making your classic Italian spritz recipe at home, follow the recipe without altering it both in terms of ingredients and in regards to how the elements get mixed.

Here’s the traditional Italian recipe of the Aperol Spritz: after the recipe, advice, tips, and some useful information for a perfect spritz.

Ingredients for 1 Serving/Glass

  • 2 parts of Aperol
  • 3 parts of prosecco
  • 1 splash of Sparkling water
  • Ice
  • Slice of orange


  1. Start by adding ice to the glass then pour in the Prosecco, the Aperol, and the sparkling water.
  2. Top with a slice of orange.
  3. Stir and serve.


Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 0 minutes

Total time: 5 minutes

Classic Italian Aperol Spritz Recipe for Summer 2024 (2)

Traditional Italian Spritz: tips and advice

  • This spritz must always be prepared in a wine glass or a lowball glass because these glasses allow the ingredients to mix correctly and not to evaporate so that the flavor will stay there for a long time.
  • This co*cktail should never be shaken but only mixed with a spoon or a straw directly in the glass;
  • Orange serves only as a garnish; the juice should never be squeezed into the co*cktail;
  • You should never make your spritz in advance because the ice would melt, and the flavor of the co*cktail will be lost forever.

Why is Aperol Spritz so popular?

The Aperol spritz is so popular because it is refreshing, easy to make, and summery. It also allows people to travel to Italy, without actually going there. Also, the Aperol spritz recipe offers a slice of 1950s Italian lifestyle, and who doesn’t love it?

Spritz Variations to the Original Recipe

Being a classic recipe, the spritz has given birth to many different variations that are more or less linked to a specific area of the country. What changes is the bitter liquor that is used and that can be the Campari, the Select, or the Cynar.

  • You will have a Cynar Spritz if you will use Cynar instead of Aperol: use ⅓ Cynar, ⅓ prosecco, ⅓ sparkling water, lemon, and ice to create probably the most known variation to the classic Spritz.
  • Use Campari to make a Campari spritz: in this case, use the same proportions as in the recipe with Aperol, and you won’t go wrong.
  • Spritz Select is made with Select liquor, and according to people from Venice, this is the only Spritz possible: use ⅓ Select, ⅓ prosecco, ⅓ sparkling water, lemon, and ice.

Lately, a new variation has been added that is now trendy, especially in the Northern Part of Italy, the Trentino Alto Adige region, where it was born: the Hugo co*cktail. Instead of adding a different liquor to the mix, you need to add elderflower syrup. The recipe for the Hugo co*cktail is made by mixing Prosecco, elderflower syrup, sparkling water, a few mint leaves, a slice of lime, and ice. As you can see, this co*cktail has been called a variation of the traditional spritz, but it’s much more similar to a mojito (still, it’s delicious!)

Classic Italian Aperol Spritz Recipe for Summer 2024 (3)

What’s the difference between Campari and Aperol?

The most significant debate in making a spritz is whether you should use Campari or Aperol. Considering that Aperol is what the traditional recipe requires, nowadays, Campari is also an option, and nobody will give you a hard time if you choose Campari over Aperol.

Aperol is sweeter than Campari and contains hints of bitter orange plus gentian and cinchona flowers. Campari, however, is more bitter and contains rhubarb, berries, and a floral bouquet of potent and mysterious herbs.

They also have a different alcohol content: Aperol is 11% ABV, while Campari ranges from 20.5% to 28.5% ABV.

Campari has a more prominent flavor, and your spritz will change a lot if you choose to use it.

What’s Cynar?

Cynar is considered a “digestive,” and in the Eighties, it was also considered an almost-medicinal Italian after-dinner drink. The reason is simple: it’s made by mixing 13 herbs and has artichokes as its main ingredient. It’s a bitter liquor, and the spritz you’ll get by using it will be a bit bitter and more robust in terms of alcohol.

What is Select?

Select is probably the less known among all the liquors we have mentioned: once again, it’s red, and this makes it a lot confusing. But it has a distinctive taste, it’s a bit bitter than Aperol, and it presents notes of vanilla, cardamom, and ginger root in a 14% ABV package. It’s produced in Venice, where in the 1920s, it was first splashed into the OVS (Original Venetian Spritz).

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Classic Italian Aperol Spritz Recipe for Summer 2024 (2024)


What is the Venetian version of Aperol Spritz? ›

Here is the recipe: ⅓ of wine (or Prosecco), ⅓ of Select, ⅓ of seltz. It has to be served in a glass or in a chalice, previously filled with ice. A final touch can be adding an orange slice.

Do Italians drink Aperol Spritz? ›

Spritz co*cktails are popular aperitifs in Italy that are worth exploring. The Aperol Spritz aka the Spritz Veneziano originated in Venice and is made with Prosecco, soda water, and Aperol.

How many bottles of Prosecco for 1 bottle of Aperol? ›

The 3:2:1 method is the traditional method and means three parts Prosecco to two parts Aperol and one part soda water. The 1:1 method is equal parts Prosecco to Aperol and just a splash of soda water.

Which Prosecco is best for Aperol Spritz? ›

The wine expert's advice

According to Zanon, the Prosecco to use for the Spritz is undoubtedly a Prosecco Superiore Extra-dry. Slightly sweet, it is characterized by its fresh and versatile taste and fruity and floral scents that perfectly match the bittersweet taste of Aperol.

What is an Italian alternative to Aperol Spritz? ›

Cappelletti Aperitivo spritz

As another member of the bitter crimson Italian aperitif family, Cappelletti Aperitivo is a perfect choice when you want something that's similar to Aperol, but with more going on in terms of body and flavor.

What is an Aperol Spritz called in Italy? ›

Stylish sparkles: 3 variations of the Aperol Spritz to try

The Spritz Veneziano, or just the Spritz, has become so renowned throughout Italy that variations have spawned across the regions.

What is the new spritz in Italy? ›

What is a Hugo Spritz, and what's in it? Made with St Germain elderflower liqueur, Prosecco, soda water, a sprig of mint and a slice of lemon or lime, it's seriously refreshing with hits of floral sweetness that'll have you gagging for another one in no time.

When to order an Aperol spritz in Italy? ›

A perfect pre-dinner drink, the spritz is low in alcohol and helps stimulate your appetite, thanks to the combination of a bitter liqueur and dry, bubbly prosecco. Bitters are known to help with digestion, so drinking a spritz can help settle the stomach before a big meal.

Why does everyone in Italy drink Aperol Spritz? ›

The drink was invented as a means to combat the heat and humidity of Italy's summer months. It became popular among people who wanted something light to sip on before dinner.

Is 2 bottles of prosecco a day too much? ›

A typical-strength 125ml glass of prosecco has around 1.5 units of alcohol. So, over a week, drinking more than a bottle and a half of prosecco in total would put you above the UK Chief Medical Officers' (CMO) low risk drinking guidelines, of drinking less than 14 units a week.

Why is my Aperol Spritz bitter? ›

Aperol is made much like Campari, but unlike its deep red counterpart, the ingredients for this orange-hued liqueur are slightly better-known. Aperol's key ingredients include bitter rhubarb, vegetal gentian root, and cinchona, a tree bark which gives tonic water its characteristic bitterness.

Is club soda better than sparkling water for Aperol Spritz? ›

Club soda – A splash of extra bubbles makes this co*cktail super fizzy. If you don't have club soda, sparkling water is the next best thing. Oranges – A classic Aperol spritz is garnished with large orange slices to complement the fruity and bitter Aperol.

Can you use cheap Prosecco for Aperol Spritz? ›

Prosecco is an inexpensive Italian sparkling wine similar to Spanish Cava or French Champagne. I recommend choosing a dry (brut) Prosecco so you drink doesn't turn out too syrupy or sweet. Good choices range from 12 to 18 dollars.

What is better than Aperol Spritz? ›

Sanchez finds that if you want to make a big move away from Aperol, consider Lillet Blanc. “Lillet Blanc is a fortified French aperitif wine made from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes and the floral, exotic fruit and honeysuckle flavors are perfect in a spritz,” he says.

Is Ruffino Prosecco good for Aperol Spritz? ›

(Automatically translated) Good quality sparkling wine compared to the price. It's not too sweet or too dry and is quite light. It's a perfect choice for making aperol spritz.

What is the difference between Aperol Spritz and Venetian Spritz? ›

How to prepare a Spritz. There are basically two versions of the same recipe. The first one, according to the IBA regulations, includes 90 ml of prosecco, 60 ml of Aperol and a splash of soda. The second one, the Venetian one, is prepared with ⅓ of wine, ⅓ of bitter, and ⅓ of sparkling water.

What is Venice spritz called? ›

Spritzer is the name that Austrians use to call their co*cktail made by soda water and wine. This is the reason why the most famous Venetian aperitif is called Sprtiz. Once you have taste it in Venice, you can easily replicate it at home.

What is a spritz in Venice? ›

A spritz is an Italian wine-based co*cktail, commonly served as an apéritif across Italy. It consists of Prosecco, digestive bitters and soda water. The original spritz veneziano (Italian: [ˈsprits venetˈtsjaːno]) uses Select as bitters and was created in Venice in 1920.

What is Select Venetian Spritz? ›

Select Spritz is for an elegant and stylish moment of fun. It has a beautiful, vibrant, deep red colour and is garnished with a green olive. The Original Venetian Spritz is served in a wine glass with ice and is made up of 3 ingredients: 2 parts Select Aperitivo, 3 parts Prosecco and a splash of Soda water.

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