Super Citrusy Aperol Spritz

In southern Italy there is a nightly routine where everyone strolls through the pedestrian zone of their town after work to see and be seen, and it’s called la passeggiata.  Everyone dresses sharply, talks and just meanders – it’s a whole family affair.

On Sundays, la passeggiata is particularly large and festive, and I happened to find myself in Lecce strolling through the streets on a Sunday evening right as it was starting.  I’m a fast walker, so though the idea of aimlessly ambling through the streets sounds wonderful, in reality I had a hard time with the pace.

Aperol Spritz in Lecce, Italy
Aperol Spritz in Lecce, Italy

I much preferred observing la passeggiata from a sidewalk cafe sipping on the classic Italian apertif:  the Aperol Spritz.  Aperol is an Italian bitter that’s similar to Campari but a little less strong.  It’s sweet, citrusy, herbal and finishes with a slightly bitter bite.

In Italy the Aperol Spritz was everywhere, especially when evening set in.  In Lecce in particular any apperitivo was accompanied by a small bowl full of olives and some tarrali, which are southern Italian crackers of sorts.  I brought a bag back with me and couldn’t wait to munch on them with an Aperol Spritz of my own making.

Super Citrusy Aperol Spritz

An Aperol Spritz is remarkably simple to make and is wonderfully light and refreshing.  Serve them with some antipasti and pretend you’re people watching on an old, winding street in Italy.

Super Citrusy Aperol Spritz

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 bottle Aperol
  • 1 bottle dry prosecco
  • 2 cans club soda
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon

Super Citrusy Aperol Spritz

The two main stars of this cocktail are the Aperol and the prosecco.  There’s only one type of Aperol, so no variation there.  However, for the prosecco make sure you get one that’s on the drier side.  The Aperol and club soda are both sweet, so a sweet prosecco would be too much.

Super Citrusy Aperol Spritz

To make the cocktails, fill a large wine glass with ice cubes.  Add equal parts Aperol and prosecco to the glass.  The Aperol is a beautiful red orange color that looks so fun and festive when combined with the bubbles in the prosecco.

Top the Aperol and prosecco with a couple of splashes of club soda.  If you want the cocktails to be on the weaker side, you can add more club soda here.

Super Citrusy Aperol Spritz

Cut the orange and the lemon into slices.  Squeeze and twist a slice of each into each spritz.  The lemon isn’t traditional, but I like the extra citrus flavor that it adds to the drink, and it cuts through some of the sweetness.  Add more to your liking!

I served the cocktails with a sampling of antipasti:  a mix of olives and marinated artichokes + salami + Italian crackers.  A cheese board would also be lovely.

Super Citrusy Aperol Spritz

Bon appétit!

Super Citrusy Aperol Spritz

An Aperol Spritz is a fun and refreshing Italian cocktail - light and bubbly, it's perfect for celebrations! 

Course Drinks
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle Aperol
  • 1 bottle dry prosecco
  • 2 cans club soda
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Fill a large wine glass with ice and add equal parts Aperol and prosecco

  2. Top each cocktail with two splashes of club soda 

  3. Cut the lemon and orange into wedges and squeeze a wedge of each fruit into each aperol spritz 

  4. Serve with a mix of antipasti - olives, crackers, cheese, charcuterie, etc



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