A Tale of Three Spritzes – Aperol, Campari and Hugo

So, these fabulous concoctions may not physically transport you to the sun drenched cliffs of the Amalfi Coast, but…if you sit in a spot with the warmth of the sun on your face, perhaps next to some gurgling water, and screw up your eyes really tight and hold your breath, you might, just might, perhaps, get just a tiny little bit of the way there as you take a sip.


These spritzes are the fresh, light drinks that a hot August evening calls for. Fruity and lightly fizzy with just a tinge of bitter for grounding in the case of the Aperol and Campari. Hugo is fruity all the way with a hint of floral. An utter charmer.

I used to make these in a simple stemless glass until one day I decided to serve them in a large balloon wine glass and loved the little bit of glamour and elegance they provided.

They all use a classic spritz ratio, over ice with citrus slices stuffed in for good measure. Nothing fussy required, ’cause it’s far too humid for that.

The continental go to is the Aperol Spritz, and, if push came to shove, probably my favorite. It comprises 2oz Aperol, 3oz prosecco and a splash of soda water, just thrown into the glass over ice with the orange slices.

The Campari Spritz is Aperol’s slightly moodier and sexier cousin made with Campari to the same proportions. It’s a touch less sweet, a little more herbal and a bit more mysterious.

And if the Campari version is the sexy cousin, Hugo is the girl next door (boy next door?) Sweet and fresh faced, always wearing a smile. Make Hugo with 2oz of St. Germain’s Elderflower Liqueur, 3oz prosecco and the usual splash of soda. This time put lime slices and a sprig of mint in the glass – sometimes I will throw in some cucumber slices too.

One formula, three delicious drinks to enjoy in the comfort of your own garden. Who has time for a long haul flight over an expanse of water anyway?

And for my prosecco, I like to use this Bollicini found at World Market. I actually liked it better than several others I tried in individual cans and at $2.99 it was the cheapest of the bunch. And there’s the perfect amount for two drinks. So make one for a friend. Or drink two yourself. Because sharing is overrated.

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