Aperol spritz is certainly the drink of summer. While it has been an Italian staple since its creation in Padua in 1919, Aperol remained relatively under the radar in the U.S. until last year. Now, it's everywhere: New York's Caffe Dante keeps Aperol Spritz on tap to keep up with demand, and The New York Times reports bottle sales have increased by 48% since last summer.
There's more to Aperol than the popular spritz, though. The red-orange aperitif can be served frozen like a granita, combined with tequila and grapefruit juice for a twist on the classic margarita, or mixed with hibiscus syrup and ginger beer in a mule. Flex your cocktail making skills and add these Aperol cocktails to your repertoire. They're the perfect summer update that'll have you saying, "What spritz?"
Grapefruit Aperol Sparkling Cocktails
Grapefruit peel, for garnish
Perfect for summer brunch, this Grapefruit Aperol Sparkling Cocktail recipe by Platings and Pairings offers a citrus twist on the classic. Serve in champagne flutes and garnish with a slither of grapefruit peel.
Summer Break Aperol Punch
Prosecco or other dry sparkling wine
Blood orange soda
Club soda or seltzer water
Oranges, thinly sliced
Salt and Wind's Summer Break Aperol Punch takes the classic spritz to the next level. Fresh strawberries and oranges add flavor and color, while blood orange soda boosts the tart taste. Pro tip: Create the rose-shaped garnish seen above by twisting the orange peel.
Aperol Red Grapefruit Margarita Cocktail
Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
You might not think of mixing Aperol with tequila, but the two ingredients work in tandem in this Aperol Red Grapefruit Margarita Cocktail recipe. Spice it up with a pepper-salt rim for an extra punch.
Watermelon Ginger Aperol Spritz Cocktail
Fresh watermelon juice
Fresh ginger and watermelon will trick you into thinking this Watermelon Ginger Aperol Spritz Cocktail is a healthy smoothie. This is the perfect creation to sip on poolside after a long, hot summer's day.
Cranberry Aperol Spritzer
Tangerine sparkling water
Orange peels for garnish
Originally created as a Thanksgiving cocktail recipe, this Cranberry Aperol Spritzer by Hello Glow is a great choice no matter the season. Cranberry juice and tangerine sparkling water exaggerate the citrus notes in Aperol, making this a refreshing, tart option.
Hibiscus Berry Aperol Moscow Mule Cocktails
Raspberries or blackberries
Unrefined cane sugar
Hibiscus leaves or tea
Hibiscus berry syrup
Chilled ginger beer
Ingredients like blackberries and hibiscus syrup make this Hibiscus Berry Aperol Moscow Mule Cocktail an impressive, low-lift option. The syrup can be made in advance, so all you have to do is assemble the cocktail when guests arrive.
Frozen Rosé Aperol Spritz
Dry rose wine, chilled
If frosé was the most popular drink of 2017, this is sure to be a hit in 2018. The frozen rosé and Aperol cocktail takes 12 hours to set, so put it in the fridge the night before guests arrive for a boozy, cold treat.