Aperol Spritz


There was a time (last summer, after being in Italy) that it wasn’t possible to buy Aperol at Safeway in San Francisco—I searched them all.  It seemed most of us, at least in the Bay Area, were half human, half spritz.

If you’re new to the spritz scene, it’s a refreshing and dry (slightly bitter) bubbly cocktail with a low alcohol content.  Aperol is similar to Campari but has half the alcohol—it’s made with rhubarb, herbs, and both sweet and bitter oranges.

The good news:  because of the Aperol, you could get away with cheap bubbles.

The bad news:  cheap bubbly will make you sick, so just don’t do it (and beware if these are being poured from a keg poolside in Vegas.)


Full disclosure: The one thing I don’t love about Aperol is that the vibrant orange color is artificial (Red #40).  Until about ten years ago, it got its hue from a dried beetle, cochineal, that feeds off prickly pears!

This recipe is traditionally a 3-2-1 ratio, but I like it a bit less bitter, so I lowered the Aperol content from 2 oz to 1 oz.

Food La La Recipe: Aperol Spritz

Serves: 1 cocktail


  • 3 oz Prosecco/champagne

  • 2 oz Aperol

  • 1 oz sparkling water

  • Optional :  1 slice blood orange for garnish


  1. Place a large ice cube in a wine glass.

  2. Pour all ingredients over top. 

  3. To garnish, thread orange slice onto toothpick and place on top of glass.