An Aperol Spritz tastes like summer, whether you’re currently yachting in the Adriatic, or would very much like to be. The Austro-Italian cocktail features a simple, 3-2-1, Prosecco-Aperol-soda water rubric, making it easy-drinking and customizable.
It’s popular, too. GQ, Vogue, and this publication have devoted ample word count to the simple pleasures of the spritz. According to Aperol parent company Campari America, an Instagram account solely dedicated to the cocktail (@aperolspritzoffical) grew 300 percent from 2015 to 2017.
To determine the best Proseccos for our spritzes, we used sparkling wines with varying price points and production methods. A team of experts tasted blind and rated results individually.
For our final ranking, however, we considered flavor profile as well as price and availability. “Are you really going to put $30 wine in a cocktail when an $11 bottle will do?” asked one of my colleagues. Fair enough.
Here are seven of the best Proseccos for Aperol Spritzes, ranked. All prices are via wine-searcher.com.
A fruity nose gave way to a straightforward spritz. While some panelists thought it was unpleasantly boozy-tasting (“I get that well-whiskey burn,” one said), others found it refreshing. Average price: $14
A “lovely” aroma with candied citrus notes gave way to a noticeably sugary palate. It wasn’t thirst-quenching for our tasters, but some panelists felt it would please those who like sweeter drinks. Average price: $11
“I’m getting bubblegum flavors. Not in a bad way,” one of our panelists said. La Marca, the most popular Prosecco in the U.S. brought a candied nose and sweeter palate to the cocktail; another good match for a cocktailer with a sweet tooth. Average price: $14
“It’s got a nice bitterness at the end, but I want more bite,” was one taster’s comment and the overall consensus for this bottle. Average price: $12
“It smells like real fruit,” one taster exclaimed. The palate and nose had strong pink grapefruit notes, and our panelists liked the “wonderfully thirst-quenching” overall balance. Average price: $14
With its complex flavor profile and lovely balance, this spritz pleased every member of our panel. “The wine is present here, I’m not just tasting Aperol and sweet,” one commented. Average price: $14
When it comes to bang for buck, our panel was smitten with this beautifully bittersweet spritz. Some tasters noted a herbaceous quality to the nose and palate, and all appreciated the balance. “As someone who finds a lot of cocktails too syrupy sweet, this is really refreshing,” said one taster. “It is spritzy in every way I want it to be,” commented another. Average price: $14