A twist to a classic cocktail, this Elderflower Aperol Spritz recipe adds a touch of floral balanced with the bitter and bubbly.
I love sipping on an aperol spritz on a warm, sunny day and closing my eyes and pretending that I am on the Amalfi Coast or the South of France.
And even on chilly days, I, Ashley Conway can still have an aperol spritz, close my eyes and pretend that it’s bright and cheery outside too.
Aperol spritz truly are a vacation in a glass! They’re so light and the ideal year-round drink. Mix these up at your next brunch or when you feel like embracing the joie de vivre!
What is an Aperol Spritz?
Pronounced “AH-peh-rawl sprits”, this cocktail is composed of three main ingredients: 3 parts wine based, 2 parts Aperol, and a splash of soda.
Many also prefer an aperol prosecco or aperol with champagne. Either way, Aperol is the never changing ingredient.
Aperol originated in Italy. This orange-red liquor is slightly bitter and incredibly light, with its alcohol content only 11%.
Herbs and roots infuse Aperol for a liquor with orange and rhubarb flavors.
Originating from Italy, Aperol is an infusion of herbs and roots with two of its most distinctive flavours being oranges and rhubarb.
Italians love drinking this cocktail during aperitivo hour aka happy hour after work.
The Aperol Spritz Debate
The New York Times recently published a lengthy article on why they think the popular aperol spritz is not so great. Their exact words were that “it was not a good drink”.
This has sparked viral debates on a classic cocktail that is over 100 years old. It’s not the 9th most ordered cocktail in the world for no reason!
Yes, the bitterness of Aperol can take some time to get use to, but we highly recommend giving it a try.
Aperol Spritz Gate has only solidified my love for this orange hued summer sipper. You can’t ever pry Aperol Spritzes out of my cold dead hands. Hah!
How to Switch Up a Classic Aperol Spritz
I love the classic, but recently switched it up for a cocktail party by adding in elderflower liqueur.
These Elderflower Aperol Spritz are a touch floral balanced with the bitter and bubbly. They are sure to be a crowd pleaser!
The addition of the elderflower is subtle, but gives it some lovely floral notes marry well with citrusy bitter aperol and a natural pairing with champagne.
What is Elderflower Liqueur?
Elderflower liqueur is made elderflowers, small, white flowers that grow in a bush.
The liqueur is made without any preservatives so the elderflowers are always handpicked and fresh. you get the best flavors in the first six months of a batch.
The flower does not have a strong floral scent as you would get from lavender or roses. So elderflower liqueur is very light, crisp and delicate. It has a similar flavor to a lychee.
The most popular elderflower liqueur is St. Germain, which I used in this recipe.
Ingredients to Make an Elderflower Aperol Spritz
Dry white sparkling wine or champagne — It’s ideal (but not necessary) to have it chilled beforehand.
Aperol — The key liqueur to any aperol spritz.
Elderflower liqueur — The main ingredient to how I reinvented a classic spritz.
Soda water — Added for the carbonation and to cut the bitterness from the Aperol. You can also substitute the soda water for sparkling water.
Grapefruit wedge, elderflowers or baby’s breath — Typically, you find the drink garnished with a slice of orange or green olive. But I like to add color to the already orange palette!
How to Make an Elderflower Aperol Spritz
1 — Fill a large wine glass or highball with ice.
2 — Pour all of the ingredients into the glass filled with ice and stir.
3 — Garnish with a grapefruit wedge and elderflowers or baby’s breath.
Why Using Sparkling Wine is Better in an Aperol Spritz
As I mentioned before, people have their preference for making aperol spritzes with white wine, prosecco or champagne.
Traditionally, you’ll discover that prosecco is the most common choice. However, I like to make them with a more dry style of sparkling wine.
Prosecco tends to have a lot of residual sugars and far too sweet when combined with bitter sweet Aperol. Whereas, dry sparkling wine balances out the bitter flavors.
More Sparkling Cocktails
In case you’re looking for other light and easy cocktails with a mix of sparkling wine or champagne, here are a few of my favorites from the archives —
- Brandy, white wine and the classic fall apple cider — Autumn Fig Sangria Recipe
- Another Aperol and sparkling wine recipe but this time with bourbon — Paper Plane Spritz Recipe
- Strawberry, bubbles and ice cream — Strawberry & Rose Sorbet Champagne Recipe
- A champagne and gin based drink that can also be made into a mocktail — Sparkling Mint Meyer Lemonade Recipe
- Another classic wine cocktail with our own twist — Sparkling Pimm’s Cup Recipe
Elderflower Aperol Spritz Cocktail Recipe
- Wine glass
- 3 oz dry white sparkling wine or champagne
- 1 3/4 oz Aperol
- 1/2 oz elderflower liqueur
- 1/2 oz soda water
- Grapefruit wedge, elderflowers or baby’s breath optional for garnish
- Fill a large wine glass or highball with ice.
- Pour all of the ingredients into the glass and stir.
- Garnish with grapefruit wedge and elderflowers or baby’s breath.
Don’t forget to share your aperol spritz drink with us on Instagram using the hashtag #sugarandclothloves. We always love seeing all of your creations! Looking for more quick and delicious recipes? Find them all right here with a few bites to go along with them!