Aperol may be the perfect summer aperitif. It has low enough alcohol by volume (just 11%) that drinking early doesn't mean passing out by sunset, and its bright and fresh sweetness is matched by just a little bit of bitterness for balance. If you are looking for ways to use up the extra citrus sitting in a bowl on your counter, pairing it with this Italian aperitif is just the ticket. It's also delicious mixed with a wide range of spirits and liqueurs, or just used to flavor a glass of Prosecco. These are our favorite Aperol-forward cocktail recipes to get you started.
- Aperol Spritz
- Cotogna's Aperol Fizz
- The Paper Plane
- Aperol Gin Punch
- Rosemary, Baby!
- Descanso Beach Smash
- The Two-One-Two
- Ratterwick Punch (Sparkling Gin, Aperol, and Grapefruit Cocktail)
- Unusual Negroni (Aperol, Lillet, and Gin Cocktail)
- Sparkling Rosé Sangria With Aperol and Peaches
- Intro to Aperol Cocktail
This Pimm's Cup variation from The Modern in NYC brings together Aperol, Pimm's, and rich apricot liqueur, lightened with a splash of bitter tonic and garnishes of cucumber and mint.
You'll see this drink all over Italy: it's easy to make and easy to drink. The Aperol lends a rosy hue and bittersweet punch to Prosecco lengthened with soda.
Cotogna's Aperol Fizz
This rich, tart, and frothy spin on the Aperol Spritz leaves out the Prosecco and adds an eggwhite for texture. At the restaurant, this drink is fizzed up with an old fashioned soda siphon, but a regular pour of seltzer will work fine too.
The Paper Plane
Though you often see Aperol combined with lighter spirits, it can work well with aged alcohols as well. We're a little obsessed with this cocktail lately: equal parts good bourbon, rich Amaro Nonino, fresh lemon, and Aperol make for a delicious combination.
Aperol Gin Punch
This big batch of punch is ready for a party. It's tangy, a little herbal, and strong, flavored with lime, grapefruit, and orange. You might want to thin it with sparkling wine if you're looking to slow down the party's pace a bit.
This punch from Brooklyn's Prime Meats is based on Aperol infused with fresh rosemary for a rich piney flavor, offset with honey, bourbon, and sparkling wine.
Sometimes you're not looking for a spirit-forward cocktail, and would rather focus on flavor than booze. In that case, this tasty aperitif from Jackson Cannon of Island Creek Oyster Bar in Boston is for you. It brings together fresh orange juice with Aperol and herbal-bittersweet Amaro Montenegro.
Descanso Beach Smash
A vacation sipper that's not too sweet, spiked with rye and Aperol, and flavored with fresh muddled lemon and mint.
Created by Willy Shine, this cocktail is easy to remember: two parts reposado tequila, 1 part Aperol, two parts fresh grapefruit juice. It manages to be both rich and refreshing, just right for urging on warmer weather.
Ratterwick Punch (Sparkling Gin, Aperol, and Grapefruit Cocktail)
This punch pairs gin and Aperol with the sweet-bitter juice from fresh grapefruits, along with lemon juice and enough chilled sparkling wine to give the cocktail a refreshing fizz.
Unusual Negroni (Aperol, Lillet, and Gin Cocktail)
If you find a traditional Negroni a little too assertive, this lighter, mellower take might be just the cocktail for you. Aperol gives the drink a slightly bitter orange flavor, which is boosted further by the honey-and-citrus notes of golden Lillet Blanc. The botanical flavors of Hendrick's Gin perfectly finish off this wonderfully unusual take on a classic Negroni.
Sparkling Rosé Sangria With Aperol and Peaches
This bright, fruit-filled drink balances somewhere between sangria and Aperol spritz. Dry rosé tones down the sweetness of fresh peaches and a floral vanilla syrup. Aperol, along with lemon juice and sparkling water, make this drink perfect for all-day sipping.
Intro to Aperol
This aptly named cocktail is a great introduction to the assertive flavor of Aperol, and with only a handful of ingredients you can shake it up in minutes. The Aperol is combined with gin, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup, and a dash of Angostura bitters cuts through the drink's sweetness.