My absolute favorite cocktail in the world is an aperol spritz. When it passes the threshold into Fall, I wonder: what do I drink now? Well, of course a Winter Aperol Spritz with flavors of spiced orange and cranberry! It’s the perfect light, bubbly cocktail layered with the best of Winter’s flavors. The Aperol Spritz is no longer only a Summer drink!
This Spiced Orange & Cranberry Winter Aperol Spritz recipe came out of a desire to make Aperol spritz a year-round cocktail. A blogger friend, Chelsea Peachtree, and I have been wanting to collaborate on a cocktail recipe for a while, as two foodies who very much enjoy making a delicious cocktail! After much debate we decided we should absolutely make an Aperol spritz with the delicious flavors of the holidays. It’s the perfect cocktail for Thanksgiving, Christmas, a holiday party, New Year’s Eve, or just a quiet night in! (Because there are so many bubbly elements in this cocktail I do not recommend making ahead)
What is Aperol
Aperol is similar to Campari, but less bitter. It is a type of Italian aperitif, which is a pre-dinner liquor that is meant to whet the palate or open the palate for dinner. At only 22% alcohol, it’s a great ingredient to add to cocktails that won’t be overpowering. It tastes like a slightly bitter orange and has a lovely bright orange hue that makes an Aperol spritz have its traditional orange sunset color.
What is an Aperol Spritz
Aperol Spritz is a traditional Italian drink that reminds me of sipping refreshing and beautiful cocktails in the Summer heat. There’s typically three ingredients: Aperol, Prosecco, and Club Soda. While there is no real enforced proportion of ingredients, I like to do 1:1, Aperol:Prosecco, and then top with club soda (about 1 OZ). The most traditional garnish is an orange wedge or wheel, to compliment the Aperol.
How to make a Winter Aperol Spritz
To transition a traditional Aperol spritz into a Winter Aperol spritz, you need a Spiced Orange & Cranberry Simple Syrup. This simple syrup: Winter spices, orange zest, cranberries, sugar and water. If you’re familiar with the taste of the typical Aperol spritz, this simple syrup enhances the fresh orange taste and adds a small hint of spice. Making the simple syrup is really easy: dissolve the sugar into the water, and then strain into an air-tight container. The whole process takes about 15-minutes and can be made ahead and used in PLENTY other drinks!
INGREDIENTS for 1 Spiced Orange & Cranberry Winter Aperol Spritz
- APEROL. An absolute must-have for its namesake cocktail.
- PROSECCO. No need to bring out the expensive champagne for this one!
- CLUB SODA. Top off the Winter Aperol Spritz with club soda. Any kind will do!
- WINTER SIMPLE SYRUP. For this cocktail I used my Spiced Orange & Cranberry Simple Syrup to add not only the red color, but for warm Winter spices.
How to Garnish a Winter Aperol Spritz
- ORANGE. Add some bright, fresh oranges (sliced or wedged) to your glass. A typical Aperol Spritz is garnished with an orange wheel or orange peel.
- CRANBERRIES. An alternative Winter option for a garnish – fresh cranberries!