The Secret to Making a Refreshing Aperol Spritz That Isn't Too Sweet

We stan the spritz—so long as it's made right.

The Aperol Spritz has been one of the most controversial cocktails on the block of late, thanks to an article that ran in The New York Times last summer declaring that “The Aperol Spritz Is Not a Good Drink.” In her piece, author Rebekah Peppler calls out the classic Italian aperitif for being “like a Capri Sun after soccer practice on a hot day. Not in a good way.” The article ignited plenty of polarizing responses—many Aperol fans were outraged; others rallied behind the revulsion of the spritz.

We get it. Overly sweet drinks are anything but refreshing. But here’s the thing: the Aperol Spritz doesn’t have to be the syrupy, saccharine mixture that it’s being depicted as. The secret to blending a light, effervescent spritz is simple:

1. Avoid adding too much Aperol.

2. Don’t mix in any type of sweet Prosecco.

And there you have it. If you avoid having a heavy hand with the liqueur, you’ll end up with a cocktail that has a lot less ready-to-give-you-a-mega-migraine sugar. And if you use a dry Prosecco instead of a sweet one—we love those from Mionetto and La Marca—the drink will be downright refreshing. Rather than using one part Aperol to one part Processo as the recipe on the bottle suggests, your drink will go down easier with a ratio of two parts Aperol to three parts Processo.

Last words: let’s put an end to the fishbowl-sized wine glasses, too. It’s no wonder people feel icky after drinking Aperol—you’re sipping a mammoth-sized cocktail! Regular wine glasses should do the trick.

Here’s an easy Aperol Spritz recipe to try at home:

1. Pour two-ounces of Aperol and three-ounces dry Prosecco into a wine glass filled with ice.

2. Top off with a splash of club soda and gently stir.

3. Garnish with a slice of orange (and an olive on a stick, if you're doing it the way they serve it in Venice).

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