The Aperol Spritz was engineered for drinkability. It’s bubbly and refreshing, the ABV isn’t too overwhelming, and it’s the exact same color as a sunset on a beach from mid-to-late July. That’s why you probably know someone who considers this drink a significant part of their summertime personality. Or maybe that’s you. If that’s the case, here’s everything you need to make some high-tier Spritzes and keep being precisely the sort of the person you were born to be. This guide has the ingredients you need and the necessary tools, as well the proper eyewear and vinyl to create the appropriate ambiance.
Not sure how to make an Aperol Spritz? You can find our recipe right here.
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First Things First
Believe it or not, you do need Aperol to make an Aperol Spritz. Well, Contratto has a comparable product - but that would make for a Contratto Spritz. So let’s stick with the classic here. If you’re unfamiliar, Aperol is an Italian aperitif invented in the early 20th century. Lightly sweet with the tiniest hint of bitterness, this beverage has a strong citrus flavor, and it’s the perfect compliment to a dry sparkling wine.
Something Dry And Sparkling
Prosecco is the traditional choice for Aperol Spritzes - although the only thing that really matters is that you find a good, reasonably priced, dry (it should say “Brut” on the label) sparkling wine. So Cava or crémant (a type of French sparkling wine) work just fine as well. This is a cocktail wine, so it doesn’t have to be the absolute fanciest in world. Try to stick below $20.
A Small (But Key) Addition
Once you add your Aperol and Prosecco, you’re going to need a dash of sparkling water. Well, technically, you can do without this step - but a bit of sparkling water will keep your drink from feeling too heavy and cloying. Not to personally attack anyone, but Topo Chico feels like it fits pretty snugly in the Venn diagram of sparkling water consumers and Spritz drinkers.
One Very Important Tool
The trick to making supernaturally good cocktails isn’t really a trick at all. It’s something called “measuring your ingredients.” Just one extra ounce of Aperol can turn your drink into something that’s just a little too sweet, so please, use a proper measuring tool such as this Japanese-style jigger.
An Alternative Garnish
Usually, we garnish our Aperol Spritzes with a big orange twist or maybe even a full orange slice. But another traditional garnish is a green Castelvetrano olive or two. If you’ve never experienced this, it makes more sense than you think. These olives are juicy, buttery, and even slightly sweet, with a touch of salinity to help elevate the flavors of your cocktail. We prefer them with the pits in, and you can always grab a 5.5lb can if you’re ready to commit to this lifestyle.
Where To Put Those Olives
Are you planning on tossing those loose olives right into your glass? Don’t do that. Get some gold-plated cocktail picks. It’s the responsible choice, and no, you don’t need to pit your olives before skewering them. (Just work around the pit.)
Your Quick Twist Maker
Want to skip the olives and go for a classic orange twist? That’s cool too. But you’re going to need a quality peeler. This one will help you cut perfect twists every time.
An Ideal Vessel
When shopping for Spritz glassware, look for a quality white wine glass. Why white wine? Because they’re usually on the smaller side, and you don’t really need a massive goblet for your cocktails. You could always go for a Zalto glass - but those are $60 each, and their delicate build is often anxiety-inducing. So try these glasses from Schott Zwiesel instead. They’re pretty similar.
Your New Favorite Glassware
On second thought, there’s no rule that says you have to use a wine glass for your Spritz (and if anyone tells you otherwise, they probably work for a wine glass manufacturer). Highballs work just as well, and they’re honestly just easier to clean and carry around. We specifically suggest these unique, angular Maison Balzac glasses which have the perfect color palette for your Aperol-filled summer.
Save The Turtles
If you don’t have some reusable straws by now, get on that. These ones from Hawkins New York are made of glass, and they’ll match your Maison Balzac highballs.
A Nice Backyard Snack
Cheese is an essential part of any well-rounded aperitivo hour. And Jasper Hill Farm makes some truly wonderful and occasionally stinky cheeses. Their Harbison is a classic, and their Willoughby variety will make everyone in the vicinity ask, “What’s that smell?” (In a good way.) But the best route to go is a big variety pack.
Some Aspirational Tableware
Editorial Director Diana Tsui discovered these plates through a friend whose warm-weather aesthetic is “summer on the Italian Riviera.” So if you’d like to pretend your fire escape is a balcony at Le Sirenuese in Positano, some of that Jasper Hill Farm cheese on this gold-rimmed Italian porcelain should do the trick.
Your Spritz Soundtrack
Before you even start making your Spritz, think long and hard about what you’re going to listen to while you drink it. Or skip the thinking step, and try American Love Call by Durand Jones & The Indications. It’s the sort of record that demands a backyard on a slightly humid day, and the leisurely pace is perfect for Spritzing. You will, of course, need it on vinyl.
Get In The Mood
Is your Spritz in hand? Is your vinyl spinning? Do you have a friend or two nearby who can tell you what good taste you have and remind you how most other people are simply incomparable? That’s great news. Put on some sunglasses, and start sipping. We like these ones from Crap Eyewear. They’re ideal for casually falling asleep mid-conversation.