A Winter Aperol Spritz is the seasonal spin on the classic Aperol Spritz. With festive flavors of spiced orange and cranberry, it’s a super light and delicious Christmas cocktail. This winter cocktail is easy, refreshing, sweet and bubbly!
A Winter Spritz is the perfect cocktail for Thanksgiving, Christmas, a holiday party, New Year's Eve, or just a quiet night in. It’s festive, light and refreshing!
My absolute favorite cocktail in the world is an aperol spritz - so much so, I even made one with rosé! 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.
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!
- Aperol - An absolute must-have for its namesake cocktail. Substitute for Campari (will be slightly more bitter).
- Prosecco - No need to bring out the expensive champagne for this one. Substitute prosecco for champagne or cava!
- Club Soda - Top off this cocktail recipe with club soda. Any kind of soda water or club soda will do!
- Cranberry 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 of cinnamon and cloves. Substitute for cranberry juice but it will lose some of the spices from making your own syrup!
How to Serve
A cranberry Aperol spritz is best served in a wine glass (stemless like mine or with stems!). You can also serve this Aperol cocktail in a highball glass.
- Orange - Add some bright, fresh oranges (sliced or wedged) to your glass. A typical Aperol Spritz recipe is garnished with an orange slice or orange peel. You can even use dehydrated orange wheels!
- Cranberries - An alternative Winter option for a garnish - fresh cranberries!
- Rosemary Sprig - Rosemary adds such a Christmas tree vibe and looks beautiful against the red and orange of this cocktail. You can even coat the rosemary sprigs in sugar to make sugared rosemary - quite the classic and festive Christmas vibe!
- Cinnamon Stick - Use a cinnamon stick to add extra warming spices and festive flair!
Other Fun Festive Cocktails
- Basil Limoncello Spritz
- Sparkling Rosé Aperol Spritz
- Holiday Elderflower Prosecco Cocktail
- Honey Ginger Gin and Prosecco Cocktail
Winter Aperol Spritz
- 3 OZ Prosecco
- 3 OZ Aperol
- 1 OZ Club Soda
- 1 OZ Spiced Orange Cranberry Simple Syrup
- Add ice to cup. Pour Spiced Orange & Cranberry Simple Syrup on top of ice. Add Aperol and prosecco.
- Top with club soda - if you prefer an even less alcoholic cocktail, feel free to add more!
- Garnish with orange slices, orange wedge, and/or cranberries.