10 Easy Aperol Cocktails (Beyond the Spritz)

Published March 16, 2022
Aperol cocktails

For the uninitiated, the shockingly neon orange hue of Aperol can be terrifying yet make you take pause at what this could be. On the flip side, for those that know and love Aperol, that bright orange bottle is a glowing sign of good cocktails, worthy of so much more than an Aperol Spritz. Step outside your comfort zones, and try your hand at Aperol cocktails.

What Does Aperol Taste Like?

Aperol is far less bitter than its counterpart, Campari. With brighter orange and citrus notes, the bitterness tastes similar to an orange peel or pith than it does to bitter herbs. Where Campari has bitter notes right at the front, Aperol has equal parts orange, bitter, and sweet right at the first sip. The bitterness does linger, but so does the taste of orange. It's far more palatable, meaning you could sip this neat or on the rocks. For the more discerning, you'll find vanilla and orange on the nose with tastes of woody notes and hints of rhubarb, as well.

Paper Plane

Paper Plane Cocktail

Take a stroll down classic cocktail lane with this perfectly balanced martini-style Aperol cocktail. The recipe calls for Amaro Nonino Quintessentia, a bitter Italian liqueur, but you can use Cynar in a pinch.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, Aperol, bourbon, Amaro Nonino Quintessentia, and lemon juice.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with orange slice.

Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise Cocktail

A cousin of the Campari jungle bird, the bird of paradise highlights the sweeter flavors in bitter liqueurs.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces Aperol
  • 1 ounce rum
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Crushed ice
  • Lime wedge, cherry, and orange ribbon for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, Aperol, rum, pineapple juice, and lime juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over crushed ice.
  4. Garnish with lime wedge, cherry, and orange ribbon.

Aperol Sour

Aperol Sour

Give your regular an upgrade with the unique notes of Aperol.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Aperol
  • ½ ounce gin
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • Ice
  • Orange peel and strawberry for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add Aperol, gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white.
  3. Dry shake for approximately 45 seconds to mix ingredients and create a froth.
  4. Add ice to shaker.
  5. Shake to chill.
  6. Strain into chilled glass.
  7. Garnish with orange peel and strawberry.

Aperol Kombucha

Aperol Kombucha

Take it easy whipping up a cocktail with just two ingredients. The only thing you need to pick out is your favorite kombucha.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Aperol
  • 4 ounces kombucha
  • Ice
  • Orange wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass, add ice, Aperol, and kombucha.
  2. Stir to mix.
  3. Garnish with orange wheel.

Boat House Punch

Boat House Punch

Nothing beats punch; it doesn't matter the reason or the season. You can even leave your mystery ingredient, Aperol, a total surprise if you want, too!

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces gin
  • 1 ounce Aperol
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • ½ ounce elderflower liqueur
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • Ice
  • Club soda to top off
  • Cherry and orange slice for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, gin, Aperol, simple syrup, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, orange juice, and grapefruit juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into highball glass over fresh ice.
  4. Top off with club soda.
  5. Garnish with cherry and orange slice.

Wild Heart

Wild Heart Cocktail

If you love whiskey cocktails and a Negroni is the key to your heart, this cocktail will top both.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces Aperol
  • 1 ounce vermouth
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2-3 dashes aromatic bitters
  • Ice
  • Orange slice for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a mixing glass, add ice, Aperol, vermouth, lemon juice, and bitters.
  2. Stir rapidly to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with orange slices.

Strawberry Aperol Fizz

Strawberry Aperol Fizz

If you love an Aperol spritz but want something a little more from it, this riff brings juicy strawberry into play.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Aperol
  • ¾ ounce strawberry liqueur
  • ¼ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Prosecco to top off
  • Strawberry slices for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass, add ice, Aperol, strawberry liqueur, and lemon juice.
  2. Stir to mix.
  3. Top off with prosecco.
  4. Garnish with strawberry slices.

Summer Manhattan

Summer Manhattan

Take your usual Sunday afternoon Manhattan and give it a much-desired makeover.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 ounce Aperol
  • ½ ounce sweet vermouth
  • King cube
  • Orange peel and cocktail cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a mixing glass, add ice, bourbon, Aperol, and sweet vermouth.
  2. Stir rapidly to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over king cube.
  4. Garnish with orange peel and cocktail cherry.

Aperol Margarita

Aperol Margarita

Despite its unique flavors, Aperol can shockingly find a home in just about any classic cocktail, and you'll wonder where it's been all your life.

Ingredients

  • 1¾ ounces tequila
  • ¾ ounce Aperol
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • ½ ounce agave
  • Ice
  • Orange wedge for garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, tequila, Aperol, lime juice, orange liqueur, and agave.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with orange wedge, if desired.

Aperol Americano

Aperol Americano

If Campari is just far too bitter for you, there's no need to miss out on a classic highball--simply swap in Aperol!

Ingredients

  • 1¾ ounces Aperol
  • 1½ ounces sweet vermouth
  • Ice
  • Club soda to top off
  • Orange peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a highball glass, add ice, Aperol, and sweet vermouth.
  2. Top off with club soda.
  3. Garnish with orange peel.

Aperol Cocktails to Brighten Things Up

Don't be alarmed by the neon orange bottle of bitter liqueur. For that bottle unlocks the key to a whole new world of Aperol drinks to explore, both classic and modern, decadent and simple. Why deny yourself the experience?

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10 Easy Aperol Cocktails (Beyond the Spritz)