20 Aperol Cocktails Perfect For Any Occasion
November 04, 2022 by Karl Tessendorf
For over a hundred years, Aperol cocktail recipes have been tantalising cocktail drinkers the world over. Its vibrant orange colour and flavour with its blend of flowers, herbs and roots give it an unmistakable presence in any glass. The Aperol Spritz is often credited for cementing its iconic status, but the number of cocktail recipes with Aperol continues to grow every year. Here are 20 delightful drinks to look out for on your next outing with friends.
1. Aperol Spritz
It just wouldn’t be right to start any Aperol cocktail list without a tip of the fedora to this Italian legend. That’s right, the Aperol Spritz is the original lazy day, slow living, countryside cocktail that everyone should try. With just a splash of Aperol, prosecco and club soda, an Aperol Spritz is born and with it, greatness in a glass.
2. Aperol Sour
Maybe it’s just us, but it’s hard not to smile at the sight of a perfectly chilled cocktail with a frothy top. And if you also happen to be an Aperol lover like us, then you’re in luck. The Aperol Sour cocktail is simple to make and ready in a minute if you have the ingredients handy. An icy shake of Aperol, gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white is all you need to create a tangy cocktail with a velvety texture.
3. Easy Aperol Negroni
The Aperol Negroni is best described as a Negroni lite, but that doesn’t mean it’s light on flavour. Aperol replaces the traditional Campari, which sweetens things up slightly and makes for an easier, smoother drinking experience. It’s a great way to start any cocktail evening and an even better way to end one.
4. Raspberry and Aperol Floats
Is it a cocktail or is it dessert? Who cares because it’s absolutely delicious and that’s all that matters! This ice cream float is spiked with juicy raspberries and fresh thyme then topped up with our old friend Aperol and soda. It hits all the right notes of being sweet, sour and creamy all at the same time. Whether you’re making this one for date night or a dinner party, it’s always bound to impress.
5. Aperol Old Fashioned
This bourbon Aperol cocktail takes the Old Fashion classic you know and love and gives it an Aperol upgrade. The traditional bitters are replaced with Aperol to create a bittersweet flavour profile that complements the oak, vanilla and caramel flavours of bourbon. Enjoy it on the rocks with an orange twist and remember to sip slowly and enjoy the ride.
6. Naked and Famous
If the Last Word and the Paper Plane got naked and had a famous love child then the Naked and Famous would be it. It was created by New York bartender Joaquín Simó, and it uses a blend of Mezcal, Aperol, Chartreuse and fresh lime juice. It’s a modern take that’s sweet, sour, smokey and herbaceous all in one and it’s definitely one to look out for.
7. Aperol Gin cocktail with Ginger Beer
If a fiery ginger kick to the tastebuds is your thing, then step right up and wrap your lips around the Aperol ginger beer cocktail. It’s a blend of gin, Aperol, fresh lime and ginger beer and it’s delightfully crisp and refreshing. The bitter orange and spice of Aperol blend perfectly with the gin’s botanicals and spicy ginger bite. Extra style points are awarded if you use an extra spicy ginger beer.
8. Aperol Cosmopolitan
The Aperol Cosmopolitan is a simple 3-ingredient take on one of the most famous cocktails in the world. There’s no cranberry juice in this version, but it still has a tart bite from the lime and bitter orange flavour of Aperol. Just like the classic, it’s shaken over ice then strained into a chilled cocktail glass and garnished with a lime or orange peel.
9. Bird of Paradise
Just like the name suggests, this modern tiki Aperol cocktail recipe is packed with tropical flavours. Pineapple and lime juice form a sweet and zesty base, while overproof rum and Aperol add an orange herbaceous kick. The Bird of Paradise is best served over lots of ice around the pool, and it’s even better when shared with friends.
10. Aperol Margarita
The Aperol Margarita is a Mexi-talian party, and you’re invited. A simple swap of orange liqueur for Aperol and you’ve crossed the border into orange Margaritaville. The spicy, citrus notes of the Blanco tequila sing with the bitter orange while the lime juice adds a refreshing zing. Rim your glass with salt if you want to go traditional or opt for sugar to sweeten things up.
11. Aperol Paper Plane cocktail
Invented by American bartender Sam Ross, the Paper Plane might look cute, but its flavour profile isn’t playing around. Aperol and Campari join forces to add a bitter-sweet punch to the rich, wooded flavour of bourbon. It’s bright and bitter up front and long, smooth sweet bourbon finish.
12. Winter Aperol cocktail
There seems to be no end to the versatility of the Aperol spritz come rain or shine. This fragrant winter version might be served cold, but its flavour profile will warm your heart. The classic Aperol, prosecco and soda base is joined with a splash of cranberry juice, fresh cranberries, resinous rosemary and a cinnamon stick. It’s refreshing yet comforting and perfect for a winter cocktail party.
13. Aperol Orange Juice Spritz
If you’ve ever wanted to know what it would be like to dive face-first into a swimming pool of oranges, then this is your chance. This orange flavour blast leans into the iconic bitter orange flavour of Aperol, but it’s tempered with freshly squeezed orange juice. The prosecco adds lightness and texture as well as another layer of complex fruit flavours.
14. Bourbon Aperol cocktail
We’re back in the world of Aperol Spritz and, in this edition, the mellow flavours of oak jump into the prosecco jacuzzi. It sounds like a strange combination but the lightness of the spritz elevates the wooded notes of the bourbon. The result is an airy drinking experience with a long, rich finish. You can also switch out the prosecco for soda to make the bourbon more pronounced.
15. Eclipse cocktail
Named after the colour of a New York eclipsed moon, this rusty red Aperol cocktail recipe blends tequila and mezcal. The result is a complex yet approachable cocktail. Aperol and cherry liqueur sweeten it up and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice balances the flavour profile. So next time there’s a lunar eclipse on the horizon, why not throw an eclipse cocktail party?
16. The Confident Man
The Confident Man was made famous by the American restaurant owner, Joe Campanale. It’s his take on a classic Paloma cocktail and it features vodka, Aperol, elderflower liqueur and fresh grapefruit juice. It’s bright, fresh and punchy with huge citrus notes and floral sweetness from the liqueur. It’s also a beautiful shade of pink which belies its bold character.
17. Aperol Mist
This Aperol beer cocktail is a perfect example of its extraordinary flavour flexibility. Paired with a splash of lemon juice and a Belgian wheat beer, the Aperol’s orange flavour shines. It picks up on the spice and orange peel flavours of the wheat beer while complementing the overall profile. Another bonus is that it looks like a sunset, so pairing it with one is always a good idea.
18. Dead Man’s Handle
Hailing from Houston in the great state of Texas, the Dead Man’s Handle was created by Tiffany Kirk from Miss Carousel. It’s a tequila, Aperol and lime concoction with almond and orange flower syrup. The Aperol balances and enhances the syrup and is garnished with chilli flakes for added cowboy kick.
19. Aperol Americano
The Aperol Americano is one of the most uncomplicated Aperol cocktail recipes out there. With Aperol as the hero and sweet vermouth as its sick kick, it’s all about the bitter orange and botanicals. Top it up with club soda and a squeeze of lemon and you’ve got yourself a low-alcohol sipping cocktail for any occasion day or night.
20. Fizzy Aperol Grapefruit cocktail
This Aperol spritz cocktail recipe is not only a play on the fruity Italian prosecco spritz classic, it’s a meeting bittersweet titans. Aperol’s blend of flowers, herbs and roots collides with the tart, sweet and sometimes sour flavour profile of grapefruit. The result is one of the most refreshing cocktails you’ll ever drink. We think it might even rival the classic but don’t tell the Italians we said that.