Classic Aperol Spritz Recipe

I’ve had a love for all things Italian for a long as I can remember. It’s my favourite country to visit. The history, architecture, beaches, city life, food and drinks; it just can’t be beat.

Enjoying an Aperol Spritz in Rome

There’s no drink, in my opinion, that has as strong a claim to being “Italy’s drink” as an Aperol Spritz. The cocktail is built around Aperol—a semi-sweet, slightly bitter aperitif from northern Italy.

The herby orange-red liqueur was invented by the Barbieri brothers in Padova, Italy in 1919 and was originally designed as a health and diet drink. The recipe, as those for bitters and liqueurs tend to be, is secret, but includes bitter and sweet oranges, rhubarb and gentian.

When the Austrians controlled the Veneto after the Napoleonic wars, they took the local Italian wine and added a splash, or in German, a “spritz,” of water. Over time the water was replaced with sparkling water and the still wine was turned into wine fortified with a liqueur. It wasn’t too long before the liqueur of choice became what we today call Aperol. It gained popularity all over Italy during 1920s to 1930s and it was marketed as a drink for women and people with an active lifestyle.

There are many kinds of Spritzes, but the Aperol Spritz is probably the most popular cocktail in Italy. Along with the more bitter-tasting Campari, Aperol is also one of the most successful Italian liquors overseas.

The spritz has become synonymous with the Italian tradition of the Aperitivo, a drinking occasion associated with the transition between work and play at the end of the business day.

The Campari Group purchased Aperol in 2003 and embarked on a huge advertising and marketing campaign that positioned the Aperol Spritz as a drink for the creatives, the fashionable and the successful. Today it is one of the most popular drinks around the world.

Today my girlfriend Holly and I have put together a recipe for a classic Aperol Spritz for you. It’s the perfect drink to enjoy these dog days of summer with.

Classic Aperol Spritz Recipe

Yields 1 drink You’ll Need:

  • 3 parts Prosseco (we used La Marca)
  • 2 parts Aperol
  • 1 part soda water  
  • Ice
  • Orange slice, to garnish

DirectionsMix all ingredients in a wine glass with ice and gently stir. Garnish with an orange slice.

If you’d like it ‘Venetian-style,’ add a green olive as an additional garnish.

Hope you enjoy this little taste of Italy. If you recreate this cocktail for yourself, be sure to tag us on Instagram @alexandtribe and @chandeliers.and.champagne.

Cheers!

Lilac and Lychee Gin Rickey

Lilacs are one of my favourite spring flowers. They have the most incredible scent and make such a beautiful, full bouquet. I’m lucky my mom has two trees in her yard that I get to raid as much as I want!

Unknown to a lot of people is the fact that lilac blossoms are actually edible. The petals can be used to make a lilac sugar for baking, or a sprinkle of flowers for garnish, or my favourite–in a simple syrup for cocktails. It adds a light, floral note to your drinks as well as a hint of beautiful colour.

Today’s cocktail is a delicious Lilac and Lychee Gin Rickey. It’s light, fruity and a perfect summer patio sipper. You’re going to love it! If you can’t get your hands on lilacs for this simple syrup, lavender would work well too.

Lilac and Lychee Gin Rickey

Yields 1 drink

You’ll Need:

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 0.5 ounces lychee liqueur (we used Soho)
  • 1.5 ounces cranberry juice
  • 0.25 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • Dash of lilac-infused simple syrup (recipe below)
  • Soda water, to top
  • Fresh lilac petals, to garnish
  • Ice

Directions

Combine gin, lychee liqueur, cranberry juice, lime juice and lilac-infused simple syrup in a cocktail tin. Stir and pour into a cocktail glass filled with ice. For a layered look, top slowly with soda water. Garnish with lilac petals, ogle at its beauty, then stir gently and enjoy!  

Lilac-infused Simple Syrup

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup lilac blossoms
  • 4 blueberries (for colour)

Instructions:

Remove stems and leaves from lilac blossoms, otherwise they can make your syrup bitter. Gently rinse blossoms in a fine mesh strainer and put aside.

Add water and sugar in a small pot, whisking together until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil then add lilac blossoms and blueberries. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove all the lilac petals. Allow syrup to cool to room temperature then store in a jar or bottle. Syrup will keep in the fridge for up to three weeks.

Hope you enjoy this delicious summer cocktail, be sure to follow along on Instagram (@alexandtribe, @chandeliers.and.champagne) to see what else we come up with and tag us in you pics if you recreate any of our cocktails.

Cheers!

Layered Grapefruit and Rose Vodka Soda

Hello summer, my old friend. After approximately 700 consecutive days of rain the sun has finally come out to play.

This is one of the rainiest summers I can remember in Edmonton. The last time it rained this much was eight years ago and Justin and I were so over it we spontaneously booked a trip to the sunny Algarve in Portugal.

Eight years and two kids later, spontaneous European vacations are about as likely as my kid sleeping through the night, so it was time to get a bit more resourceful and do something to make it feel a bit more like summer…and for Holly and I that meant drinking a refreshing cocktail out in the sun.

This cocktail came together rather haphazardly late one afternoon. Holly (@chandeliers.and.champagne) and I were hanging out with our wild toddlers and didn’t have a whole lot of time to make a fancy drink. So, Holly busted out a bottle of Grapefruit and Rose Vodka she had just picked up and threw a quick cocktail together.

We had no idea how pretty the drink was going to look but the colours layered themselves beautifully and we knew we had to recreate this drink for our blogs. Not only does this Vodka Soda look great, the taste is fantastic too. It’s a refreshing, citrusy cocktail perfect for a summer day, and a great option for those who like to avoid sugary concoctions.

Layered Grapefruit and Rose Vodka Soda

Yields 1 cocktail

You’ll need: 

  • 1.5 oz Grapefruit and Rose vodka (we used Ketel One Botanical)
  • Juice of half a grapefruit
  • Club soda
  • Large handful of ice

Directions:

Fill your glass with ice. Juice half of a grapefruit and add to glass along with 1.5 oz of vodka. Top with club soda. Voila, it’s that’s easy!

Hope you enjoy this refreshing summer cocktail, be sure to follow along on Instagram (@alexandtribe, @chandeliers.and.champagne) to see what else we come up with over the course of the summer and tag us in you pics if you recreate any of our cocktails.

Cheers! Alex & Holly