Aperol Spritz

The effervescent Aperol Spritz is here for your summer enjoyment! Made with Aperol, Prosecco, and a splash of soda water, this sparkling cocktail can be enjoyed before dinner or anytime!

Aperol spritz in a wine glass with ice and orange slices. A second glass is behind it with stir sticks and cocktail napkins.
Sally Vargas

If you haven't already tried an Aperol Spritz, you've probably heard of one.

This popular Italian apéritif (pre-dinner drink) is a favorite summertime sipper for many. It’s low in alcohol, easy to drink, and has a zesty deep orange color that calls to mind a sunset on a hot summer night.

It's also incredibly simple to make an Aperol Spritz at home – just Aperol, Prosecco (or sparkling wine), and soda water – which means a quick stop at the store and you can enjoy a glass tonight!

What Is Aperol?

Aperol is an Italian orange liqueur. The recipe is secret, as is the case with many specialty liqueurs, but the brand's website does say it's "an infusion of ingredients including oranges, herbs, and roots." (Don't give it all away now!)

When I taste Aperol on its own, to me it tastes like the syrup version of orange soda, quite sweet but with a bit more bitterness. At 11% ABV (alcohol by volume), Aperol is relatively low in alcohol compared to other liqueurs, which are typically 24% ABV or higher.

That's why Aperol is so popular in spritz form—you can have a big glass before dinner and hardly feel a thing!

Two Aperol spritz cocktails on a table with ice and orange slices, a napkin and two stir sticks to the right.
Sally Vargas

Aperol Vs. Campari

Both Aperol and Campari – that other popular Italian liqueur and one of the main ingredients in a Negroni (my favorite drink) – are amari, herbal liqueurs made in Italy.

While they share a similar color and flavor profile (both have pronounced orange flavors with both sweet and bitter elements), Aperol is fruitier, sweeter, and more syrupy than Campari. It also has half the alcohol content (11% ABV versus 24% ABV for Campari).

One way to think about the difference is to say Aperol is like a session beer and Campari is like an IPA. One is uncomplicated and unlikely to offend; the other is complex with a distinct point of view.

Substitutes for Aperol

If you don’t have Aperol, or you can't find Aperol, or you don't like Aperol, consider this my invitation to you to embrace the spirit of the Aperol Spritz but with an Aperol-adjacent liqueur. In other words, another Italian amaro!

Follow the classic spritz ratio – three parts Prosecco or other sparkling wine, two parts liqueur, and one part soda water – then substitute one of the other amari listed below.

Note: You may want to add an ounce or more simple syrup to the above spritz ratio when you use an amaro other than Aperol, just to balance the bitterness.

Technically, if you sub in one of these you will be making an Amaro Spritz. Each of these amari has its own unique flavor profiles—experiment and see which one you like best!

aperol spritz ingredients on a table. A bottle of aperol, prosecco, club soda and a glass with a stir stick and ice inside. A small glass of sliced oranges is in the lower right corner.
Sally Vargas

What Kind of Prosecco Is Best for an Aperol Spritz?

  • Here are my rules for the Prosecco in an Aperol Spritz:
  • Make it dry. You don't want a sweet sparkling wine because the drink will be unbalanced. (Aperol is plenty sweet on its own.) Look for a Prosecco labeled brut or extra brut.
  • Add it at the right time! If you pour Prosecco or sparkling wine into a wine glass after you add the ice, it will lose half its bubbles and you'll have a half-flat drink right at the start. Instead, pour in the Prosecco first and then add the ice, gingerly, with tongs.
Aperol spritz cocktail in a wine glass with ice, orange slices and a stir stick.
Sally Vargas

Other Sparkling Summer Cocktails:

Aperol Spritz

Prep Time 3 mins
Total Time 3 mins
Serving 1 serving

If you want a sweeter Spritz, adjust the ratio to equal amounts Prosecco and Aperol.


  • 3 ounces dry (brut) Prosecco or sparkling wine

  • 2 ounces Aperol

  • 1 ounce soda water

  • 4 ounces ice cubes

  • Orange slice for garnish


  1. Make the Spritz:

    Pour Prosecco into a wine glass. Gently add about 4 ounces of ice cubes, or half a wine glass' worth. Pour in the Aperol and soda water. Gently stir and garnish with an orange slice. Drink immediately!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
218 Calories
0g Fat
24g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 218
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 14mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 22g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 10mg 50%
Calcium 29mg 2%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 92mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.