While an aperol spritz is a simple "anytime" cocktail, it's hard to find a good vegan snack pairing. Today I'm sharing the formula for a perfect spritz, and ALL of plant-based & vegan snack pairings you could ever want!
An aperol spritz is perfect for cooling off after a long day in the sun and saltwater. It's also a festive cocktail for the holidays, especially in the Southern hemisphere!
It pairs well with nearly everything, and is also a brunch favorite. (Check out this french toast or these pancakes - garnish with strawberries and blueberries, and add the zest of half a lemon to the batter).
Aperol is lightly bitter, citrusy liqueur.
Prosecco and sparkling orange soda round out the ingredients.
*Please note that NOT ALL PROSECCO IS VEGAN. Unfortunately, LaMarca falls into the not vegan category due to its refining agents. This is what I could find at my local grocery store...here are some vegan Prosecco options if you're super strict.
Like most cocktails, a spritz is best with ice and an orange slice.
Don't forget the potato chips, the classic Italian pairing for this cocktail.
See recipe card for quantities.
First, fill the glass with ice. I prefer a lowball or collins glass so the bubbles distribute evenly. If you're firmly in the wine glass camp, I won't stop you...
For an ombre look, add the aperol, then prosecco (see first image in the post). If you want to get technical, add the prosecco THEN the aperol so the alcohol doesn't settle at the bottom.
Finally top with a splash of soda, and garnish with an orange wedge.
Hint: the order of ingredients matters! Add the prosecco then the aperol for a well mixed cocktail. If you like the look of an ombre drink (and don't mind a few sips of straight aperol at the end), then start with the liqueur.
Need some extra help? Check out this video...it's super simple!
There are TONS of substitutions for a traditional aperol spritz. Let's break this one into parts:
Aperol - while Aperol is the namesake of this cocktail, there are lots of bitter liqueurs to try. It's like the difference between Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper. The flavor profiles have quite a range, so we can adjust the other ingredients to complement the spirit.
Prosecco - the sweetness of prosecco and aperol play well together. If you decide to swap the bubbly, opt for something sweet like a sparkling rose.
Soda - I find that a good Italian sparkling beverage is a nice enhancement. In fact, you can ditch the prosecco altogether if you have some of this one hand.
Citrus - different citruses serve different purposes. It also depends on what you're serving with your cocktail.
- Lemon for a bright fresh taste
- Lime if you're pairing with Mexican or Latin flavors
- Orange is classic
- Grapefruit if you like something a more bitter sweet (Psst - check out this grapefruit moscow mule)
Let's have some fun. With the above substitutions in mind, here are some basic spritzes to experiment with.
- Christmas & holidays: add some pomegranate seeds or use sparkling pomegranate or cranberry soda for a festive Christmas drink, and garnish with a sprig of rosemary or thyme.
- Tropical: a spritz of pineapple soda (or juice) and a twist of lime and you'll never drink another Bahama Mama again! (well, at least until there's more rum).
- Non-alcoholic: use a non-alcoholic liqueur and non-alcoholic prosecco.
To make a stronger spritz: add more aperol, and less prosecco and soda.
To make a lighter, weaker spritz: use less aperol and more prosecco and soda. Or ditch the prosecco altogether and use a lightly flavored Italian soda.
This recipe is vegan*, dairy free, nut-free gluten free and egg free. As usual, always double check the ingredients, especially if you have a food allergy.
*Not all prosecco is vegan. See ingredients section for suggestions.
An key part of enjoying an aperol spritz (or any spritz) is a small snack or cicchetti. Since we don't do meat here, here are some of my favorite vegan pairings:
- Potato chips (traditional in Italy)
- Hummus with pita chips or veggies (whip up this vegan charcuterie board with tzatziki for easy entertaining)
- Baba ganoush AKA spicy eggplant dip
- Little sandwiches or snacks like this avocado toast or crostini
If you're planning to serve with dinner, here are some ideas:
To make an aperol spritz, you'll need a good glass. While many love a white wine stemmed glass, I prefer a lowball or collins glass so the bubbles distribute evenly.
If you have a jigger, great. If not, eyeball it and enjoy!
Like ice cream, this cocktail is best when cold on ice. Unfortunately, this cocktail cannot be made ahead of time like a sangria - the bubbles do not last long in the refrigerator.
Frequently asked questions
An aperol spritz is a cocktail, popularized in Italy as an aperitivo, or pre-dinner cocktail appetizer, usually served with a light snack.
Aperol is an aperitif or pre-meal drink. A spritz is a cocktail made with a bitter liqueur (aperol in this case), prosecco, and sparkling water.
Potato chips, pretzels, nuts, hummus, nachos, toasts and crostinis all pair well with an aperol spritz. Anything salty and savory works.
You can substitute with champagne, but it tends to be drier and less sweet than prosecco. It's also more expensive in general.
My advice is to enjoy the champagne in a glass by itself, and use Prosecco for an spritzes, or any sparkling wine cocktail (looking at you, mimosa).
As always, double check the ingredient list on any alcoholic beverage, as they may use animal products in the refining process.
Remember: add prosecco first, then aperol for a well-mixed spritz.Print
An aperol spritz is perfect for cooling off after a long day in the sun and saltwater, and are also festive for the holidays. They pair well with nearly everything, and are acceptable to enjoy for brunch (hello new favorite day drink).
- 2 oz Aperol or bitter liqueur of choice
- 3 oz vegan-friendly Prosecco
- 1 oz sparkling water or juice
- Orange slice (or citrus of choice)
- Slice orange and place into glass. Top with ice.
- Pour prosecco, then aperol, then sparkling water.
- Garnish with additional citrus and enjoy!
Not all prosecco is vegan. Here's a great list of vegan-friendly prosecco.
Keywords: aperol spritz, vegan aperol spritz, aperol cocktail, vegan aperitivo, vegetarian aperitivo, aperol spritz recipe, aperol spritz variations
This recipe contains alcohol, please consume responsibly.