Italy's Refreshing Summer Cocktails



This refreshing drink is becoming increasingly popular in all of Italy, but originated in the Alto Adige / South Tyrol area.  It is a sort of light, European Mojito. Here in Lake Como it is not nearly as common as the Aperol Spritz.  Only a few restaurants on the lake make it. The Hugo is on Villa D'Este's drinks menu but the luxe hotel uses St. Germain liqueur in leu of Elderflower syrup (Elderflower syrup is non-alcoholic).  Both cocktails are yummy!

Hugo (pronounced "Ugo")

5 or so fresh Mint leaves


150 ml Prosecco

100 ml Soda water

1 Lime (juiced & strained)

1 T of Elderflower Syrup, or Holunder Syrup

Recipe:  Muddle the mint leaves in the glass a bit to release the flavor.  Fill glass with ice cubes. Next add the prosecco to the glass, then add soda water, lime juice & elderflower syrup.  Give it a stir.


Aperol Spritz



1 T Aperol (cousin of Campari)

Splash of Soda water

One 2" shaving of Orange peel

Recipe: Fill glass with ice cubes. Fill 3/4 of the glass with prosecco then add a tablespoon of Aperol, a splash of soda water and a shaving of orange peel.  Alternatively, you can add a slice or wedge of orange to replace the section of orange peel.

Aperol Spritz Variation

The Marketplace Restaurant in Como serves their Aperol Spritz with a shaving of lemon, as opposed to orange giving the drink a nice, refined taste.  I prefer it since Aperol aperitif contains bitter orange flavor already. The shaving of lemon, as opposed to orange, adds complexity.


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