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Aperol is a popular Italian liqueur that is used in cocktails.

In this article, we will learn what Aperol is and how much alcohol is in both Aperol and Aperol Spritz.

Key takeaways:

  • Aperol is an alcoholic drink. It is 11% alcohol by volume (ABV). For comparison, wine is usually between 11-14% ABV.
  • An Aperol Spritz is 9% ABV when made with a 3-2-1 recipe (see below) and 11% ABV Prosecco.

What is Aperol?

Aperol is an Italian herbal aperitif. An aperitif is an alcoholic drink taken before dinner to stimulate the appetite.

An infusion of orange, herbs and roots give it its signature bittersweet taste. Today, it is a popular cocktail ingredient, especially for making Aperol Spritz.

Aperol alcohol content

Aperol has an ABV of 11%.

Aperol Spritz alcohol content

An Aperol Spritz, made using 3 oz Prosecco, 2 oz Aperol and 1 oz soda water, has an overall ABV of 9%. This calculation assumes the Prosecco is 11% ABV.

Some Prosecco is higher, but 11% ABV is fairly typical.

This calculation is made using the following formula:

(Total Alcohol Volume/Total drink Volume) x 100

Where is Aperol from?

Aperol is an Italian drink created by the Barbieri brothers. It was launched in 1919 at the Padua International Fair and gained in popularity in Italy after WW1.

What does Aperol taste like?

Aperol has aromas of orange, vanilla, and herbs. It has an orange, herbal and bittersweet taste.

The exact ingredients in Aperol are something of a trade secret, but it is widely believed to contain cinchona (pink and white flower), gentian (a blue flower) and rhubarb.

Aperol Drinks / Cocktails

Aperol Spritz

Aperol Spritz is a refreshing summer cocktail made with Aperol, Prosecco and soda water. Remembering how to make Aperol Spritz is easy – you just have to remember 3-2-1:

  • 3 parts Prosecco
  • 2 parts Aperol
  • 1 part soda water

Aperol Spritz Recipe


  • 3 oz (75 ml) Prosecco
  • 2 oz (50 ml) Aperol
  • 1 oz (25 ml) Soda water
  • Ice
  • Orange slice


  1. Add Prosecco, Aperol and soda water to a large wine glass filled with ice.
  2. Garnish with an orange slice.

Aperol Negroni

Replace Campari with Aperrol for this twist on the classic Italian Negroni.


  • 1 oz gin 25 ml
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth 25 ml
  • 1 oz Aperol 25 ml
  • Orange zest/peel
  • Ice


  1. Add a handful of ice to a jug.
  2. Pour the gin, vermouth and Aperol over the ice.
  3. Stir until well chilled.
  4. Strain into an old-fashioned glass over some ice.
  5. Garnish with orange zest/peel.

What to eat with Aperol

In Venice, bite-sized snacks called “cicchetti” often accomany an apperitif like Aperol Spritz. Cicchetti can be all kinds of finger food, such as crostini with various toppings like prosciutto or shrimp.

Aperol vs Apéro

Apéro is a pre-dinner drink or snack to whet the appetite before dinner. Apéro is a popular European tradition, especially in France.

To learn more about Apéro, see our article What is Apéro?

Aperol is an Italian liqueur that is orange in color with a bittersweet taste. It is a key ingredient in Aperol Spritz, a drink which is usually a mix of Prosecco, Aperol and Club Soda.

Campari liqueur

Aperol vs Campari – what’s the difference?

Campari and Aperol are both Italian liqueurs commonly used in cocktails. They have similar flavor profiles – both have orange, herbs and woody notes with a bitter aftertaste. However, there are also some key differences:

  • Campari has a more intense and bitter flavor profile than Aperol.
  • The alcohol level of Campari varies from country to country, between 20.5-28.5% ABV. So, it has a much higher alcohol level than Aperol’s 11% ABV.
  • Campari is much older than Aperol. It was invented in Italy in 1867. Aperol was invented in 1919.
  • Aperol is bright orange in color. Campari is bright red.
  • Campari is a key ingredient in a traditional Negroni cocktail. Try our recipe for Port Negroni here.


Do I have to use Prosecco for an Aperol Spritz?

Prosecco is traditionally used in Aperol Spritz. It is an Italian drink afterall. That said, any sparkling wine like Cava, Cremant or Champagne will work.

Read with confidence: I am WSET L2 Award in Spirits & Diagio Bar Academy certified.