One of my personal mottos is ‘there is never a bad time for Champagne!’, but I would argue it’s the same for Prosecco! Whether we are popping a cork to celebrate a special occasion with friends, or savoring sips of bubbly to mark the end of a long week, Prosecco is always welcome in my glass. Some of the best bottles of sweet Prosecco are produced in Italy, so it makes sense that it would play so well with another Italian cocktail favorite, Aperol! So, you can imagine how delightful this new Cranberry Aperol Spritz Recipe is!
What is an Aperol Spritz?
An Aperol spritz, at its most basic, is a cocktail made from Aperol, Prosecco, a little bit of simple syrup, and soda water. A refreshing Italian cocktail that perfectly highlights this sunset orange & herb flavored liquor at it’s finest! Unlike many cocktails which contain several spirits mixed with fresh juices and sweeteners, this classic Aperol cocktail is whipped up with only 4 components. An Aperol Spritz is a fruity, low-alcohol cocktail that is very popular as a wonderful aperitif before dinner. The recipe is typically made with an equal ratio of Aperol and Prosecco, topped with a splash of soda and garnished with an orange slice. You can change up the ratios to suit your own preference, but always serve over ice! This cocktail can be enjoyed any time of the year, and my Cranberry Aperol Spritz recipe is especially popular during the winter holidays in our house!Jump to Recipe
The Difference Between an Aperol Spritz and a Winter Aperol Spritz is Just a Few Ingredients!
This Winter aperitif, made with Aperol and sparkling wine, has all the flavors of a classic New England cranberry sauce! I use a bit of leftover holiday cranberry sauce to add tartness to the homemade simple syrup, which adds a wonderful new depth to this cocktail. Sweet & tart cranberries, a touch of orange, and the rich scent of cinnamon, combine beautifully with an effervescent pour of Prosecco. This easy cocktail recipe is refreshing and bubbly!
What are the Ingredients in a Winter Aperol Spritz Recipe?
- Prosecco or champagne
- Cranberry Orange Simple Syrup
- Soda Water
What is Aperol?
Aperol is a popular citrus drink usually served over ice, and is often referred to as, “the perfect aperitif”. Bright orange Aperol, is made from distilled alcohol infused with herbs including orange peels, gentian root extract and coriander. It was created in the 1970’s, and has remained popular throughout the decades. In addition to being used in spritz cocktail recipes, you can also find it in a classic Negroni or a whiskey Boulevardier. Although Aperol is similar to Campari, it has a less overall bitter finish and has a lower ABV at 11%. With a lovely light floral note, Aperol cocktails make a great aperitif to whet the palette before any meal.
What Mixes Well with Aperol?
Aperol’s most common mixers are dry tonic water, sparkling wines, and soda water. It’s a popular choice for classic cocktail recipes, such as the Negroni cocktail and Paper Plane cocktail. With it’s sunset orange-color, Aperol can be mixed with a variety of other liquors, such as a floral gin or even tequila! I like to utilize a variety of fresh citrus juices in my spritzes, like Cara Cara orange juice or Blood Orange. But you can get wild and crazy: branch out to stone fruit juices like cherry or peach nectar, which also pairs extremely well with the slightly bitter taste of Aperol (or Campari). The bold flavors of this Italian liquor provides a great counterpoint to any sweet & tart fruit juice!
How to Make a Cranberry Simple Syrup?
Making a cocktail simple syrup is really one of the easiest ways to impart a lot of flavor into your cocktail recipes. Flavored simple syrups add sweetness and nuance to a mixed drink, without the danger of adding extra elements that may change the volume or color of your drink. My version of a cranberry cocktail syrup is as easy as it gets! Using just a handful of simple ingredients, leftover cranberry sauce, sugar, orange zest, cinnamon, and water. Once the cranberry-sugar mixture has been brought to a boil and simmered for 3 minutes, strain the syrup & store in a glass jar in the chiller. Just add your Prosecco and Aperol to a large cocktail glass filled with ice, and stir in a bit of the simple syrup. Add a splash of soda water, and you’ve just mixed up a Cranberry Aperol Spritz!
Perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, a Holiday Party, or Just a Quiet Night In.
This Cranberry mixed drink is a delicious, easy-to-make refresher that can be enjoyed year round. It’s also festive enough to enjoy during the holidays or as a holiday party cocktail. Often thought of as a warm weather aperitif, I always ask myself, why only drink them in the summertime?! The best part? I don’t have to worry about spending all of my time in the kitchen and away from my guests, with this quick fizzy cocktail!
What Foods do I Serve with a Cranberry Aperol Spritz?
Prosecco spritzers make an amazing starter for any dinner or party! My winter Aperol spritz, with its bright cranberry and orange flavors, is the perfect compliment to an array of small bites and appetizer ideas. A lovely winter charcuterie board, with creamy cheeses and savory cured meats, would be a great pairing. A spicy starter like a Tuna Tartare is a wonderful choice, or you could go old-school, and serve it along side a crispy eggplant Caprese salad to start. All of these suggestions would also match really well with this recipe’s citrus back notes.
Are You Looking for a Berry Variation of this Recipe?
– Raspberry Aperol Spritz
To make the raspberry aperol spritz, start by filling an 8 ounce glass with ice. Next, add in 1/2 cup of dry champagne and top it off with Aperol liqueur. Add splash of club soda or sparkling water to boost the fizz. Finally stir in a small handful of fresh raspberries, until they are well distributed throughout the drink. If you like your drinks on the sweeter side, add a tablespoon of plain simple syrup as well. Garnish with an orange wheel and cocktail stick filled with red raspberries!
More Drink Recipes You Might Like!
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In the meantime, check out these other delicious cocktail recipes for you to enjoy at home!
Cranberry Aperol Spritz: The Most Delicious Cranberry Cocktail Recipe
- 1 large wine glass
- 4 ounces prosecco
- 2 ounces Aperol
- 1 ounce cranberry orange simple syrup recipe below
- 1 ounce soda water
- Take a large wine glass and fill halfway with ice.
- Pour in the Aperol and simple syrup.
- Next, ad the Prosecco and gently stir.
- Finally, top off with the soda water.
- Garnish with an orange slice, edible flowers, or your favorite straw!
Cranberry Orange Simple Syrup
- 1 saucepan
- 1 mason jar
- 1/4 cup whole berry cranberry sauce *See notes for recipe link
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 naval orange rind pith sliced off
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Add all of the ingredients to a small saucepan and mix.
- Place the pot of medium high heat and bring to a low boil. Stir occasionally.
- Let boil for 5 minutes.
- After boiling, remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
- Strain the syrup into a glass mason jar with a fitted lid. Discard the solids.
- Store in the chiller for up to 3 weeks.