The Best (and Easiest) Alternatives to the Aperol Spritz
When you think of spritz drinks, the first that probably comes to mind is the Aperol Spritz, and for good reason—it’s delicious. This Italian cocktail is made with sparkling wine, Aperol (or another type of liqueur), and soda water. But if you’re getting a little tired of the Aperol Spritz, there are plenty of other options that you should try.
How to make a basic spritz
All spritz drinks follow the same basic recipe. You’ll need:
Aperol or another type of liqueur (often something bitter)
To make the perfect spritz, start by pouring two ounces of sparkling wine into a glass. Add one ounce of Aperol (or other bitter) and top it off with soda water. Garnish with an orange slice, twist, or olive and enjoy.
Perhaps the most common alternative to the Aperol Spritz, the Campari Spritz is more bitter and more complex. This cocktail is made with Campari, sparkling wine, and soda water. It’s the perfect drink for someone who wants something that’s not too sweet. Campari is flavored with a variety of herbs and spices, including orange, rhubarb, and anise.
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For a classic twist on the Aperol Spritz, try making an Americano Spritz. This cocktail is made with sweet vermouth, Campari, and sparkling water. It’s a bit more boozy than the Aperol Spritz, but just as good. (The Americano is a cocktail made with club soda, sweet vermouth, campari, and orange—the Americano Spritz is a spritz version of the cocktail.)
If you’re looking for something a little different, try a Pamplemousse Spritz. This cocktail is made with grapefruit liqueur(Pampelle Grapefruit Aperitif is a good one to try), sparkling wine, and soda water. It’s tart and perfect for summertime sipping.
Cynar Spritz (a.k.a. Calindri Spritz)
If you’re a fan of bittersweet cocktails, you’ll love the Cynar Spritz. This cocktail is made with Cynar (a woodsy, bittersweet liqueur with notes of caramel, toffee, and cinnamon with a bitter herbal finish), sparkling wine, and soda water. It’s perfect for someone who wants more of a bitter edge to their spritz compared to Aperol, but it’s a bit more sweet than Campari. The drink is often referred to as a Cynar Spritz because of the liqueur used, but it’s also sometimes referred to as a Calindri Spritz from a popular 1966 advertisement for the drink featuring actor Ernesto Calindri enjoying the bitter apéritif as an antidote to “the strain of modern life.”
For a fruity and less bitter twist on the classic Aperol Spritz, try a Strawberry Spritz. This cocktail is made with strawberry liqueur (Bols is a good and inexpensive option), sparkling wine, and soda water. You can substitute strawberry for any other fruity liqueur that you prefer.
This spritz is for bourbon lovers, made with bourbon (or other whiskey), Campari, and sweet vermouth. It’s a bit stronger than some of the other spritzes on this list, and is another spritz based on a non-spritzed cocktail by the same name: The Boulevardier is a riff on the Negroni and is made of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Campari.
St. Agrestis Paradiso Spritz
If you’re looking for something truly unique, try the St. Agrestis Paradiso Spritz. This cocktail is made with St. Agrestis Inferno Bitter, Prosecco, and soda water. It’s less bitter than other typical spritz liqueurs and has more herbal complexity. Agrestis Paradiso is made in Brooklyn.
Lillet Blanc Spritz
This spritz is for wine lovers. It’s made with Lillet Blanc, sparkling wine, and soda water. Lillet Blanc is a French aperitif that’s similar to a semi-sweet vermouth with herbal, floral, and citrus notes. It’s slightly sweet and a great alternative when you’re looking for something less bitter than Aperol.
This spritz is for gin lovers. It’s made with Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto, sparkling wine, and soda water. Italicus is a citrusy liqueur that’s only been around since 2016, so you’ll be leading the charge by offering this spritz alternative to your friends.