Aperol and soda is a wonderfully light and delicious Aperol cocktail that most people can make with items already in their home. This Aperol recipe makes the perfect drink on hot evenings or as a light drink before dinner, as an aperitif. I will walk you through the origins of Aperol, what Aperol is made of and other great easy Aperol cocktails you can make with different mixers.
If you are not familiar with it, Aperol liquor is actually made from rhubarb! It requires little to no mixers to make a drink with it and it screams warm sunny days when you sip on it!
I prefer drinking Aperol with soda water or sparkling water because I find that the traditional Aperol Spritz can be a little bitter. If you are not familiar with the Aperol Spritz, it is a drink made from Aperol and Prosecco and can be found all over Italy in the summer months.
If you have tried Prosecco or its cousin, Champagne, then you know they can be a bit dry and sometimes harsh. Aperol already has a light bitter finishing note that I feel the Prosecco accentuates.
Using soda or sparkling water in this Aperol cocktail instead of Prosecco produces a much more balanced drink.
The Origin Of Aperol-
Aperol was invented in Italy by two Italian brothers in the early 1900's and became popular around the world ever since. Even though this liquor is made with rhubarb, it has hints of orange and it actually tastes slightly sweet at the beginning of a sip and then slightly bitter at the end. It really goes well in so many drinks or on its own.
Aperol vs Campari-
Many people confuse Aperol and Campari (the other red Italian liquor). Both are similar in flavor but are made of a different blend of herbs, invented at different times and in different areas of Italy. Aperol is also made with part rhubarb and it is not as bitter as Campari.
Aperol to me is a clear winner in taste and versatility since you can drink it on its own without any uncomfortable bitterness. I would still recommend trying Campari if you haven't.
A traditional Aperol spritz is made with Aperol and Prosecco but for this drink I'm using soda water and a little simple syrup (optional). This makes it a really easy cocktail to make since most people already have these items in their house. It also tastes really delicious.
Aperol is an Apertif-
This Aperol and soda makes a great aperitif cocktail as well. If you are not familiar with apertifs, it is a cocktail that is served before a meal to get the digestive system moving and ready to eat a meal. Italians have many liquors they use for apertifs and Aperol is one of them.
Other Mixers to use with Aperol-
Make it an Aperol and Tonic:
You can use tonic water instead of soda water for a wonderful and simple Aperol and tonic. Tonic water has a light flavor from quinine that goes really well with the Aperol.
Aperol and Ginger Beer:
Aperol and ginger beer is actually very tasty and the ginger with the fruity notes of the Aperol are a great match. This is a very summery drink that will taste great on a hot evening.
Aperol and Wine:
I also love adding Aperol to a glass of white wine to make a quick sort of Sangria. You can throw in fresh fruit and it is an instant glass of Sangria. If you want to make a big batch of sangria that tastes like the more traditional version then you would love my easy Aperol sangria recipe.
I love getting creative with Aperol.
To make the Aperol and Soda, you only need 3 simple ingredients:
- Soda water or tonic water
- Plain simple syrup or flavored simple syrup (optional)
If you decide to make the simple syrup portion of this drink, I have a recipe that will guide you through making a simple syrup. You can just omit the added flavor and follow the instructions using just the sugar and water portion. I have also included a list for you below.
To make a simple syrup you need:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
Just mix the water and sugar together in a sauce pan over medium heat. Once the sugar fully dissolves, remove from the heat and let cool. Pour your syrup into a container and use it when needed. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
I make this Aperol and soda drink so often that I don't even measure it out. There really is no "too much" of any ingredient that will make this drink bad. If you are into not measuring your liquor or don 't have a proper shot glass or measuring tool, you can just use the count method for this and count to two while pouring (one, two, done).
Traditionally, Aperol is considered a warm weather drink. It is bright in color, slightly sweet and light on the alcohol. This makes it perfect for sipping on hot days.
However, if you have thought an Aperol cocktail is just for warm weather (though this is what most people think of when they hear this drink) it is not. I love drinking Aperol all year round, even at the holidays. It makes for a nice light drink with appetizers or at holiday gatherings.
One of my other favorite ways to drink Aperol is with Rhubarb like in this Aperol and rhubarb fizz. It is really tasty and that extra rhubarb added to the drink compliments the rhubarb flavor of the Aperol beautifully. This drink requires a little more prep time because it has a rhubarb flavored simple syrup but it is totally worth the effort.
You can drink Aperol on its own:
Aperol really does not need any mixer or addition added to it and its light flavor makes it perfect for just that. This is not like drinking other liquor straight up that may too overpowering.
Aperol makes a great drink to sip in its pure form without any harsh bite.
Aperol has alcohol so it is fine to store at room temperature for a while. What I mean by this is unlike other stronger liquors that can sit for years at your bar table, Aperol is light on alcohol and higher on sugar content. If you are not planning to use up your Aperol within a year, I would suggest storing it in your refrigerator to keep it fresh.
If you are looking for some more great cocktails aside from this Aperol cocktail:
- You will love my Chartreuse and gin cocktail
- My Lavender and Chartreuse Sour
- Or maybe even my St Germain gin and tonic.
- Look through these delicious flavored simple syrup ideas that can make your cocktails so amazing.
- You can also scroll down to the bottom of the page for more drink ideas.
Cocktails shouldn't be complicated and these are all simple and delicious!
Now that I have told all about Aperol and how delicious and versatile it is, I hope you are ready to give this Aperol cocktail a try! No bar setup should be without this delicious liquor and I know once you try it you will agree.
Aperol and Soda: A Quick Aperol Drink
- 2 ounces Aperol roughly 2 shots
- 3-4 ounces soda water or tonic water
- 1 splash of simple syrup or fruit juice
- 1 lemon quarter
- In a rocks glass, pour your shot, simple syrup (or juice) and soda water over ice
- Squeeze your lemon wedge into the drink
- lightly stir