3 Booze- and Hangover-Free ‘Aperol Spritz’ Recipes for Peak Summertime Vibes

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Summer has officially entered the chat, which can only mean one thing: Spritz season is here to stay (well, at least for the next three-ish months). As our collective social media pages flood with snippets of long-lost friends, relatives, and definitely influencers soaking up the sun on scenic Italian beaches with an Aperol spritz in hand, there’s no question we’re feeling some type of way: lots of FOMO. Because living vicariously will only get us so far, we figured it was high time we brought the spritz-making fun to us.

Even though a little boozy drink almost always gets the party started, we'll argue nothing’s more of a buzzkill than dealing with a raging hangover the next day. This is why we caught up with a few of our favorite mixology experts for a refreshing take on a traditional Aperol spritz. Meet your soon-to-be favorite non-alcoholic "Aperol spritz" recipes that’ll instantly transport you to a paradise of your own.

Experts In This Article

What's in a traditional Aperol spritz?

According to Marcus Sakey, co-founder of Ritual Zero Proof, a traditional Aperol spritz typically consists of just four simple ingredients. “A spritz, Aperol or otherwise, is traditionally made with sparkling wine, aperitivo—like Aperol—and club soda, then garnished with an orange slice,” Sakey says.

When the Aperol (an Italian bitter apéritif, an alcoholic drink typically consumed before a meal), Prosecco (a type of Italian sparkling wine), and soda water are combined, the result is a fizzy, vibrant orange drink (thanks to the Aperol) that’s slightly citrusy and every bit refreshing.

On its own, Aperol can be quite bitter and have a strong orange zest flavor. However, in a spritz, the bitterness is subdued by the splash of bubbly that helps dilute the potent apéritif. “It’s been around for ages and remains synonymous with summer for a good reason: It’s light, refreshing, and perfect for long days under the sun,” Sakey says.

However, an Aperol spritz isn’t only delicious when filled with booze. In fact, we’re sharing three easy ways to make a non-alcoholic "Aperol spritz" that’s just as good, if not better.

3 easy non-alcoholic 'Aperol spritz' recipes

1. Orange kefir + grapefruit juice + lemon juice + orange slices

According to mixologist Kennedy Johnson, citrus-flavored kefir is a great option when making a non-alcoholic Aperol spritz (with an extra bonus for gut health). “The key elements are GT’s Orange Peach Mango Agua de Kefir, fresh orange slices, and ice. The Agua de Kefir helps mimic the fizz of Prosecco, the orange slices add a touch of the fresh citrus flavor that’s found in an Aperol spritz, and ice helps keep it cool and refreshing,” Johnson says.

Johnson’s recipe: 4 ounces of GT’s Orange Peach Mango Agua de Kefir, 2 ounces of grapefruit juice, 1 ounce of lemon juice, served on top of a scoop of ice and garnished with orange slices

2. Aperitif alternative + soda water

Sakey’s recipe is even easier to prepare, as it features just two ingredients. “For a satisfying non-alc version, we use Ritual Aperitif Alternative and soda water. With just two ingredients, you get a zero-proof, low-sugar, calorie-free spritz you can drink all day,” Sakey says. “The beauty of the spritz is its simplicity,” he adds.

Ritual Zero Proof’s Aperitif Alternative has the assertive bitterness of an Italian aperitivo and the complex sweetness of a French vermouth; minus the alcohol. Plus, it’s easy to use as a replacement for Aperol on a one-to-one ratio. “Something that sets Ritual apart is that it’s a one-to-one spirit replacement. This means no tricky ratios to recreate your favorite full-proof drinks; just swap traditional spirits with Ritual and you can make virtually any cocktail non-alcoholic,” Sakey says.

Sakey’s recipe: 1 1/2 ounces of Ritual Aperitif Alternative and 2 1/2 ounces of soda (and/or prosecco)

3. Capri Spritz + non-alcoholic bitters + orange slices

Founder of Mocktail Club Pauline Idogho says using Capri Spritz—a canned non-alcoholic cocktail made with antioxidant-rich pomegranate and cranberry juice—as the base of your non-alcoholic Aperol spritz is the way to go. “We like to use Capri Spritz as a base, which is rich and complex with limited effort,” Pauline says. Not only does the beverage offer the citrusy, tangy notes from the pomegranate and cranberry, but is also infused with caffeine-free tea and lemongrass that adds vibrancy and mimics the tannic-like notes of Aperol.

Idogho’s recipe: 4 ounces of Capri Spritz, 3 dashes of non-alcoholic bitters (preferably, All The Bitter Aromatic), and a fresh orange slice

What’s the secret to making delicious mocktails?

According to Sakey, the secret to making delicious mocktails lies in the mix-ins. “While you’re always going to need bar essentials like shakers or mixing spoons, when it comes to stocking the bar for summer, I like to keep fresh fruit and bitters on hand. You can use them to add a personal spin to your mocktails while amplifying the color, aroma, and depth of flavor,” he says.

However, if you want something that’s even easier and speedier, Free AF Apero Spritz is a ready-to-consume, non-alcoholic Aperol spritz in a can. All you have to do is crack it open and pour it on ice (if you please); just don’t forget the SPF, and you’re ready to hit the beach, folks.

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