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Hugo Spritz – The Best Sparkling Elderflower Cocktail

The Hugo Spritz is the perfect summer cocktail! The lightly floral notes of Elderflower liqueur are a refreshing alternative to the bitter flavors of Aperol or Campari, in this Northern Italian aperitivo. A refreshing drink, it has quickly become my new favorite cocktail for happy hour or just sipping by the pool.

Two Cocktails garnished with lemon and lime slices and mint, on a tray with a bottle of prosecco and a bottle of St. Germain liquor.

A classic Aperol spritz is made with two parts bitter liqueur, three parts Prosecco and one part sparking water.  This cocktail follows the same formula but features St Germain elderflower liqueur as its flavor base.  The addition of mint leaves and a lemon or lime wedge contributes to its bright crisp taste with just a hint of citrus.

About The Hugo Spritz

In Italy the spritz is a traditional aperitivo.  Each region has its signature version, so there are different variations of Italian spritzes all over the country.  The most notable being the Aperol Spritz from Padua and the Limoncello Spritz from Sorrento. The Hugo Spritz was invented in 2005 by a bartender named Roland Gruber in the small town of Naturno, in the Dolomite Mountain region of Northern Italy.  It was an immediate hit and Its popularity quickly spread to the bordering countries of Austria and Germany.  

The original recipe was made using elderflower syrup, which gave the drink a noticeably sweet flavor.  Many bartenders now replace the syrup with St. Germain liqueur, which cuts down on the sugar and gives the cocktail a cleaner taste.  Prosecco remains an essential ingredient in spritz cocktails regardless of how you change the base flavors.  

The Hugo Spritz sparkling cocktail is easy to make either by the glass or as a pitcher to share with your friends. Its slightly sweet refreshing taste has made it a favorite with everyone that I introduce it to from the very first sip. 

A bottle of sparkling water, a bottle of liquor, a bottle of prosecco, a lemon, limes and mint leaves with labels on each item.

Ingredients you need for this Hugo Spritz recipe

This simple cocktail requires just a few ingredients.

  • Elderflower liquor:  St. Germain is widely available in the United States, but any elderflower flavored liquor will work just fine. If you would like to make a cocktail with a low alcohol content, you could use elderflower syrup instead of a liqueur.
  • Prosecco: A sparkling wine is an essential ingredient when making a spritz and to keep this as Italian as possible, I stick with Prosecco! 
  • Sparkling Water:  This provides balance in this refreshing cocktail.  You can use plain sparkling water, club soda or soda water.
  • Fresh Mint Leaves: Muddled mint adds to the subtle herbal notes in the Hugo drink. I like to use a mint sprig to garnish the drink as well.
  • Lemons or Limes:  A slice of lemon or lime in the cocktail enhances the natural citrus flavors that are often found in Prosecco and gives the drink a refreshing twist.  

 How to make a sparkling elderflower spritz

  1. Start by gently muddling 3-4 fresh mint leaves in the bottom of a large wine glass.  
  2. Fill the glass with ice cubes and pour in the elderflower liqueur, then the prosecco and the sparkling water.
  3. Garnish with either the lemon or lime slices, stir gently and top it off with a sprig of fresh mint.

Tips for making the best Hugo Spritz

  • It is important to gently muddle the mint leaves.  This releases their essential oils, which are both fragrant and flavor the drink. You can also release the oils by simply placing the mint in the palm of your hand and slapping it with your other hand.  
  • The original Hugo Spritz follows a specific ratio of prosecco to liqueur to soda water.  It is 3 parts prosecco, 2 parts liqueur and 1-part sparkling water. But you must love it, so it is okay to play around with these ratios to suit your personal taste.
Two cocktails on a tray with two bottles of liquor, lemons, limes and fresh mint.

Other Italian Cocktails to try

There is just something about an Italian cocktail that can transport me back to my amazing homeland. These are some Italian inspired cocktails perfect for any occasion.

A Black Manhattan or a Sicilian Manhattan as we like to call it, is the bittersweet version of a classic Manhattan. It is an sophisticated aperitivo for sure.

For years I have enjoyed the wonderfully sweet flavors of almonds in a Sicilian Kiss and if you have never tried one, this sophisticated drink is the perfect end to an Italian dinner.  

One of my other favorite summertime drinks is the Italian Margarita.  Just when you thought you could not top the margarita, this Italian version comes along and proves you wrong!

More Cocktails you will love

One of my seasonal favorites is the Apple Cider Margarita. It is the perfect cocktail to enjoy by a fire on a crisp fall night. Once the holidays come around you will want to try this Cranberry Margarita. It is the perfect balance between sweet and tart and it is so festive!

I love to get your feedback so if you tried this Hugo Spritz recipe or any other recipes on this website, please leave me a comment below.  I hope you enjoy our recipes and look forward to hearing from you!

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A clear cocktail in a stemmed with glass garnished with lime slices and fresh mint, on a tray with two bottle of liquor, lemons, limes and mint.

Hugo Spritz Cocktail

The lightly floral notes of Elderflower liqueur are a refreshing alternative to the bitter flavors of Aperol or Campari, in this Northern Italian aperitivo. A refreshing drink, it has quickly become my new favorite cocktail for happy hour or just sipping by the pool. Easy to make by the glass or by the pitcher!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail, Happy Hour, Drinks
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 servings
Calories 250 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 oz Prosecco
  • 2 oz Elderflower liqueur such as St. Germain
  • 1 oz Soda water or sparkling water
  • 3-4 Fresh mint leaves
  • Lemon or Lime slices for garnish, optional

Instructions
 

  • Gently muddle the mint leaves in the bottom of a large wine glass, hand to release the oils.
  • Fill the glass with ice cubes and pour the elderflower liqueur, prosecco and sparkling water in the glass and give it a stir.
  • Garnish the glass with lemon or lime slices and sprig if fresh mint and enjoy immediately.

Notes

Tips for making the best Hugo Spritz

  • It is important to gently muddle the mint leaves.  This releases their essential oils, which are both fragrant and flavor the drink. You can also release the oils by simply placing the mint in the palm of your hand and slapping it with your other hand.  
  • The original Hugo Spritz follows a specific ratio of prosecco to liqueur to soda water.  It is 3 parts prosecco, 2 parts liqueur and 1-part sparkling water. But you must love it, so it is okay to play around with these ratios to suit your personal taste.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingsCalories: 250kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 0.2gFat: 0.03gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.02gSodium: 13mgPotassium: 92mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 127IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 16mgIron: 0.5mg
Keyword alcoholic drink, elderflower, sparkling wine, mint
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