Aperol is a vibrant orange Italian aperitif with a complex flavor profile. It is a sweet beverage with hints of bitter herbs, rhubarb, burnt orange, and a touch of vanilla.
On its own, Aperol is easy to drink. It has a low alcohol content, a sweet taste, and a slightly bitter finish that gives it depth.
Despite its yummy taste and versatility, Aperol is not a well-known cocktail ingredient for the average cocktail enthusiast.
If you have a bottle handy and you’re not quite sure what to do with it, I’ve put together a list of the best Aperol cocktails to try.
Read on to learn more about the most delicious Aperol cocktail recipes.
One of the best Aperol cocktails is the classic Aperol Spritz. It is a mild, sweet cocktail with a gorgeous reddish-orange hue.
It is a summery and refreshing beverage that is as enjoyable on a beach as it is on the couch.
To make an Aperol Spritz, you will need:
- Club soda
- Prosecco (dry is best)
- Orange slices for garnish
Fill a stemless wineglass with ice and pour equal parts Prosecco and Aperol. Add a splash of club soda and pop in a tasty orange wedge to give the cocktail a festive appearance.
I find that the Aperol Spritz is easy to tailor to your specific cocktail preferences.
For example, if you are new to Aperol and want to tone down its bitterness, add more Prosecco than Aperol when making your drink. If you want the cocktail to be weaker, add more club soda.
Aperol Gin Punch
Aperol Gin Punch is a little more complicated than the Aperol Spritz, but it is just as tasty.
It is a fun sunset-colored cocktail to serve at bridal showers, backyard brunches, or as a pre-dinner beverage with an appetizer.
There are many different Aperol Gin Punch recipes out there. The basic cocktail consists of gin, Aperol, sparkling wine or Prosecco, bitters, lime juice, orange juice, and grapefruit juice.
You can also add simple syrup for a sweeter flavor profile. The resulting beverage is crisp, fruity, and citrusy.
This is a boozy cocktail due to the gin and wine combo. If you’re in the mood for something a bit less alcoholic before your evening meal, swap the sparkling wine for seltzer.
Try the Aperol Negroni for a twist on the traditional Negroni, which consists of Campari, vermouth, and gin.
The Negroni is a classic and beloved cocktail, but swapping the Campari for Aperol gives the beverage a richer, orange flavor. It is also a lovely, deep orange color.
An Aperol Negroni includes:
- Dry gin
- Orange bitters
- Orange twist for garnish
It is best to make an Aperol Negroni with a cocktail shaker. Combine the alcohols and optional orange bitters with ice and shake until chilled.
Then, use the cocktail shaker to strain the cocktail over ice cubes in an Old Fashioned or stemless wine glass.
I find the Aperol Negroni to be less bitter and more nuanced than the traditional Negroni. Plus, the more obvious orange flavors are both zesty and delightful.
Most cocktails we enjoy have been around for decades.
The Paper Plane is a newer but no less impressive cocktail, created by an NYC bartender named Sam Ross in 2008.
The cocktail combines equal parts bourbon, Aperol, fresh lemon juice, and Amaro Nonino. Amaro Nonino is a warm and bittersweet Italian liqueur that has notes of botanicals, caramel, and vanilla.
This complex liqueur pairs well with the bitter citrus notes of the Aperol and lemon, creating a drink that is warm and fruity, sweet and spicy.
Paper Plane cocktails have the signature bright orange color of Aperol-based drinks, but with a stronger whiskey taste.
I frequently recommend this innovative cocktail to people who are unfamiliar with Aperol and are also new to whiskey.
The Airedale is similar to the Paper Plane in that it combines bourbon with Aperol.
The drink is the creation of Denver restaurant Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox and was named after the building the restaurant calls home.
It consists of:
- 1 ¼ oz bourbon whiskey
- 1 ¼ oz rye
- .75 oz Aperol
- 1 tsp simple syrup
- Grapefruit peel for garnish (optional)
Once shaken until chilled in a cocktail shaker, pour the mixture over ice and serve on the rocks in a rocks glass.
The Airedale is a relatively simple cocktail that doesn’t look or feel like a cocktail at all. There are little to no fancy fruit garnishes or heavy amounts of sugary syrups.
The whiskey flavors are prevalent but pair nicely with the small amount of Aperol. I recommend this drink to anyone who likes whiskey and wants to shake up their normal cocktail routine.
One of my favorite Aperol cocktails is the Adriatique. It is a herbal, zesty, and bittersweet cocktail that combines citrus flavors with a subtle booziness.
I find this to be a sippable and highly enjoyable drink when sitting by the pool or alongside a nice cheese plate before dinner.
The Adriatique isn’t difficult to make. Simply combine equal parts Amaro Montenegro and fresh orange juice with a generous splash of Aperol in a cocktail shaker.
Shake with ice until the beverage is cold. Then, strain it into a chilled cocktail glass of your choosing. If you’re feeling a bit fancy, garnish with a twist of orange peel.
If like me, you love a grapefruit-flavored cocktail, The Two-One-Two is a must-try Aperol drink for you.
The Two-One-Two was named after the NYC 212 area code. As a result, it is a particularly popular cocktail in the city.
It combines 2 oz of ruby red grapefruit juice, 1 oz of Aperol, and 2 oz of reposado tequila. The result is a sweet, slightly bitter beverage with delightful grapefruit and orange flavors.
In my opinion, it is an excellent and refreshing way to beat the summer heat no matter where in the country you are.
Summer City Spritz
Another way to beat the heat of summer is by sipping on a Summer City Spritz.
This cocktail is more complicated than other Aperol beverages, with a larger number of ingredients.
However, the result is a sweet, fruity cocktail with a pretty pink coral color.
A Summer City Spritz consists of:
- 1.5 oz rum
- .75 oz watermelon juice
- .5 oz Aperol
- .5 oz simple syrup
- .5 oz lemon juice
- Soda water
- Mint leaves for garnish (optional)
Simply pour the ingredients for this boozy summer cocktail into a wine glass over ice and stir.
Then, top the mixture with soda water to give it a delightful bubbly texture and isolate the ingredient’s pink and orange colors. If you’re feeling adventurous, top the drink with a sprig of fresh mint.
Cotogna’s Aperol Fizz
Cotogna’s Aperol Fizz is a creamy orange cocktail that has a nice head of foam. It is sweet and fruity, with the traditional red-orange coloring of Aperol-based drinks.
To make Cotogna’s Aperol Fizz, you will need:
- 4 oz Aperol
- 1 oz sugar syrup
- A large egg white
- 2 oz fresh lemon juice
- Grapefruit peel for garnish (optional)
Combine the Aperol, sugar syrup, lemon juice, and egg white into a cocktail shaker. It is important to shake the mixture vigorously to properly emulsify the egg white.
Then, add some ice cubes and shake to chill the cocktail before pouring it into chilled glasses.
Venus Blush Cocktail
The Venus Blush Cocktail is a blood-orange lover’s dream. It combines blood orange juice, Aperol, and prosecco for a bubbly citrus-forward beverage with a lovely, red-orange color.
Making a Venus Blush Cocktail isn’t complicated. You will need:
- 2 oz prosecco
- .5 oz blood orange juice
- .5 oz Aperol
- Club soda
- Blood orange slice for garnish
This cocktail is best in a stemless wine glass over ice. Although blood oranges are more difficult to find than regular oranges, I recommend adding the blood orange slice to your drink.
Both its flavor and deep red color enhance the drinking experience.
The Ten Spot is one of the best Aperol cocktails, hands down. With its deep pink coloring and sweet, fruity flavor, it ticks all the boxes for what a cocktail should be.
Boozy, sippable, and beautiful. It is a popular cocktail for bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and brunches.
Ten Spot cocktails require gin, Aperol, and equal parts grapefruit and lime juice. The ingredients can be stirred together over ice in any glass you have on hand.
For the final presentation, you will want to strain the mixture into a champagne flute and garnish with a twist of grapefruit peel or a slice of lime.
Aperol is a popular ingredient in a variety of unique cocktails. It is beloved by bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts for its nuanced sweet and bitter flavors and its lovely orange hue.
It also pairs well with everything from gin to bourbon, making it a versatile liqueur to add to your at-home bar.
Did we leave your favorite Aperol cocktail off the list? Leave us a comment below and we’ll try it out.
Learn about other popular aperitifs like Aperol to mix into your cocktails!