Everyone loves an Aperol Spritz. It’s refreshing, flavorful, and looks beautiful. So when our dear friend Brian Sandahl, of Heavy Muddle, said that he spent the summer crafting spritzes — which are bubbly, bittersweet, and widely approachable — we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share them with you. These recipes draw on classics and are innovative and straight up delicious. Serve them in our Wine Glasses for a beautiful way to start the night.
Bittersweet & bubbly
The most popular of the spritzes, the Aperol Spritz was first introduced over 50 years ago in Italy. While individual preferences vary, this is the quote-unquote "official" recipe from Gruppo Campari, the owners of the Aperol brand since 2003. You can scale the recipe up or down as needed to fill your glass.
To make, first add Aperol to an ice-filled wine glass. Give it a quick 5-10 second stir to chill. Add a splash of soda water and top with Prosecco. Give the cocktail a couple more stirs to integrate the ingredients. Garnish with an orange slice.
The temperature of your ingredients is very important! Make sure both your Prosecco and soda are well chilled prior to serving.
Stirring carbonated ingredients like soda and Prosecco will increase the release of CO2 gas from the liquid—meaning it will make your Spritz less satisfyingly bubbly. For this reason, you should stir the Aperol by itself, and after adding the soda and Prosecco only give your cocktail a couple more stirs to integrate all the ingredients.
This cocktail in practice is almost never measured in a jigger. Use the ratios as a guideline but don't stress about the exact measurements. Embrace the spirit of aperitivo time and R-E-L-A-X.
Bittersweet & bubbly
No Prosecco, no problem. This classic aperitivo cocktail combines the more bitter Campari with dry white wine and club soda. The name bicicletta is allegedly inspired by the cafe patrons that would swerve home on their bicycles after downing a few drinks at the local watering hole.
To make, add Campari and white wine to an ice-filled wine glass. Give it a quick 5-10 second stir to chill. Top with soda water, and stir a couple more times to integrate the ingredients. Garnish with an orange slice.
Herbaceous & minty
Oft-maligned honeydew melon stars in this highball alongside Bitter Bianco—a spirit that Luxardo brought to market in 2017 due to consumer demand for a perfectly clear bitter ingredient to make a perfectly clear White Negroni. Bitter Bianco is more herbal and spicy than its Campari and Aperol cousins, and here it serves as a nice complement to gin and Green Chartreuse.
To make, shake all ingredients except soda briefly with ice to chill, then double strain into an ice-filled wine glass. Top with soda (I prefer Topo Chico) and garnish with a fresh mint sprig.
Fruity, tart & floral
"He's an importer. And exporter. He's an importer-exporter."
Since the 1920s, Japanese whisky production has been based on importing the best practices from Scottish whisky makers while also putting their own distinctive spin on the spirit, a philosophy the Japanese refer to as Wokan Yosai or "Japanese spirit with western learning." This spritz-inspired cocktail combines Japanese whisky and a homemade green apple & jasmine tea cordial with a splash of bittering tonic and a topper of dry sparkling wine for a "best of all worlds" experience.
To make, add whisky and cordial to an ice-filled wine glass. Stir 5-10 seconds to chill. Add tonic and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with an apple fan and edible flower.
* Add peels (no pith) from 2 lemons and 50g sugar to a pot. Cover and allow the sugar to extract the lemon oils from the peels over the course of 6-12 hours, stirring occasionally. Then add 250g Granny Smith apple juice (fresh pressed), 50g lemon juice (fresh squeezed) and 50g honey to the pot. Whisk over low heat to combine. Once combined, remove from heat and add 1 jasmine green tea bag -- other green teas will also work. Allow tea to infuse for up to 15 minutes. Strain into a sealable container and keep in fridge.
Fruity, floral & lightly bitter
Blueberries and elderflower come together with South American brandy and an assertive French gentian aperitif in this purple-hued spritz.
To make, shake all ingredients except sparkling wine briefly with ice to chill, then double strain into an ice-filled wine glass. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with flowers.
* In a food processor, blend 1.5 cups blueberries and 1/2 cup St-Germain elderflower liqueur. Strain through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth. Funnel into a sealable container and keep in the fridge. Shake before each use as the pectin in the blueberries will cause the cordial to partially congeal over time.
Tropical & spicy
A ginger-spiced spritz with some Jungle Bird tendencies, this cocktail combines my love for tropical and bittersweet ingredients. It's named after the national bird of Italy.
To make, shake all ingredients except soda & sparkling wine briefly with ice to chill, then double strain into an ice-filled wine glass. Add soda and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with pineapple wedge and frond.