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How to Make an Aperol Spritz

The iconic Aperol Spritz is refreshing, easy to make, and a "perfectly balanced" drink. Here, a brand representative shares its history and explains the technique for how to make it.

Aperol spritz in a branded glass

Aperol Spritz. Photo: Lex Gallegos

Summer might be over but there’s one drink that always tastes like the warmer months to me: The Aperol Spritz.

Most people are aware of the iconic Italian cocktail in all of its orange-y bliss but what people might not be aware of is its storied past. The mixed drink has a history that traces back nearly a century to the development of Aperol in 1919. 

Olivia Cerio, Italian spirits portfolio ambassador for East Coast Campari America, tells Appetito that Aperol, the aperitivo, was created by Luigi and Silvio Barbieri. The pair of brothers sought to create a “perfectly balanced” aperitivo that would be ideal for traditional gathering moments. 

“After seven years of development, in 1919 at the International Fair in Padova, they introduced their creation, the perfect liquid, bright orange in color, and light in alcohol liqueur that has stayed true to the original recipe and remained unchanged to this day,” Cerio says.

The name “Aperol,” Cerio continues, comes from the Latin term “Aperire” which means “to open,” with the thought that the aperitivo would “open the appetite.”

The now menu-staple cocktail came a bit later on. 

During the 1950s, the Aperol Spritz was born with origin ties to the “Venetian Spritz,” Cerio says, noting the drink was inspired by the tendency of soldiers in the Austrian empire to water down Venetian wines with carbonated water.

“The spritz was initially colorless but the Aperol that was added gave the cocktail its signature orange color that made the drink and serve famous,” she says. “Since its inception, the cocktail went through stages of popularity, garnering its first taste in Veneto, then to all of Italy, eventually expanding across Europe and now, the world.”

Cerio surmises that the reason the spritz has become so popular has to do with its low alcohol content, its link to food, and its bright orange coloring.

She adds, “Italian culture is having a major resurgence with US consumers embracing the traditional Italian bitterness of cocktails, post-pandemic Italian travel, and shows like The White Lotus” — the HBO drama whose last season was set in Sicily.

How to make an Aperol Spritz

Now that you know its history, it’s time to mix. The well-loved Aperol Spritz isn’t actually complex. For first-time bartenders, the easiest thing to keep in mind is the “3-2-1” method. 

To make the drink, you can grab any large stem glass, adding three parts prosecco (Cinzano Prosecco is recommended), two parts Aperol, and one part soda water.

“We recommend starting with the prosecco first, because it’s a lot lighter than Aperol. Adding Aperol second will allow it to pass through the prosecco so it is integrated,” Cerio says. “You’ll know you have done it perfectly once you see that consistent, iconic orange color.”

Here’s Aperol’s recipe:

Aperol Spritz

Aperol Spritz

Recipe by Appetito Editors
0.0 from 0 votes


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Ice cubes

  • Aperol

  • Cinzano Prosecco

  • Soda Water (served from siphon or chilled bottle)

  • Slice orange


  • In a stemmed balloon glass full of ice, combine 3 parts of Cinzano Prosecco followed by 2 parts Aperol.
  • Add 1 part or a splash of soda water, stir gently if needed and garnish with an orange slice.
  • The end result should be a uniform, perfect orange color.

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