The Liquor Cabinet

Spritz seekers – give the Aperol Sour Spritz a whirl

Fancy a change from your regular spritz? Level up aperitivo with this cocktail that merges the original Aperol spritz recipe with the zing of a sour cocktail.

LL aperol sour 010-1

Italy’s love affair with the Aperol spritz has seen it travel beyond the borders of Europe and out into bars around the world, with Aussies – and Aubrey Plaza’s character on The White Lotus – embracing it as their go-to summer drink. But if you’re tempted to stray outside the traditional marriage of a sparkling wine like prosecco, Aperol (or similar), and soda water, you’re in luck. The Aperol Sour Spritz upgrades the classic by introducing parts of the traditional sour cocktail, with citrus and bitters (if you dare), a splash of sugar syrup, and a dash of gin for good measure. 

How to make an Aperol Sour Spritz

Ingredients (Serves 2) 


Ice cubes, to serve

80mL Aperol Aperitivo or Vero Aperitivo Spritz 

40mL gin

60mL lemon juice 

40mL sugar syrup

6 dashes bitters (optional)

Sparkling white wine, to serve 



1 Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the Aperol aperitivo, gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and bitters, if using. Shake until well combined and chilled. 

2 Strain into 2 serving glasses and top with sparkling wine. 


Tip: To make your own sugar syrup, place ½ cup (110g) caster sugar and ½ cup (125mL) water in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool. Store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Aperitivo o’clock – time to grab the Aperol!

Aperol itself isn’t a spirit but rather the name of a brand, one conjured up by two brothers in Italy’s Venice in 1919. It’s an aperitif, made from a mingling of gentian, rhubarb and cinchona, a drink that’s designed for sipping before a meal in the afternoon sun. And while the vibrantly hued Aperol Aperitivo is one of the most famous versions on the market (and the one you’ll most commonly find in Italy) it’s not the only offering. Vero Aperitivo Spritz is just as worthy of your attention – a great-value Australian-made blend of wine, herbs, and bitter citrus that makes for a tangy base for a twilight spritz (or three).

But what exactly is a spritz?

The spritz, like Aperol, is an Italian creation. It came to Italy via Austria, or thereabouts. Back in the 1800s, visiting Austrians liked to dilute their wine with soda water in the Italian summer heat, hence the name spritz (which translates to ‘splash’ in German). Today, a spritz refers to this same soda and wine combination, with the additional inclusion of a bitter aperitif like Aperol. While traditionally a spritz embraces an Italian prosecco, any fizzy wine will do, from French Champagne through to sparkling rosé.

Like this? Try this too

Master the simple formula for the classic Aperol spritz recipe, and make sure you try other variations too. One you may recognise from TikTok trends, a Negroni sbagliato is a fellow prosecco-based cocktail made with Campari. If you’re eager to branch out, it’s slightly more bitter than an Aperol spritz cocktail. It translates to ‘mistaken Negroni’ in Italian – the story goes, a waiter accidentally swapped out the typical gin contingent from a Negroni with sun-loving sparkling instead, and the Negroni sbagliato was born (hurray!). For another sour cocktail recipe with an Italian liqueur base, whip up a simple amaretto sour. Cin cin!

Powered by