Aperol Cosmopolitan - an Aperol Vodka Cocktail

By Timo Torner / Last updated on March 20, 2023

Sometimes the classic Cosmopolitan recipe won't wow enough. In that case, try this Aperol Vodka cocktail that elevates the traditional Cosmo recipe to new heights.
Aperol Cosmopolitan cocktail

The classic combination of cranberry juice, Cointreau, and Vodka in a Cosmopolitan cocktail was a tremendous success in the late 90s to early 2000s.

Fueled by the popularity of the 90s cult series Sex and the City, the Cosmo was in huge demand in bars and clubs around the world. 

Our Aperol Cosmopolitan recipes twist the recipe slightly to create a more modern version of the popular drink.

Read on to find out how to make this tasty cocktail with Aperol and Vodka.

Aperol Cosmopolitan with Vodka

What is an Aperol Cosmo?

An Aperol Cosmopolitan has an excellent balance of tartness, bittersweet herbal flavors, and just enough sweet notes. It's inspired by the regular Cosmopolitan cocktail but doesn't use any cranberry juice.

Neither do you need Triple Sec or Cointreau to make this Aperol Cosmo. The combination of Aperol and Vodka only needs lime juice to create a sufficiently complex cocktail.

Vintage bottle Aperol

That this limited list of ingredients is enough has to do with the nature of Aperol. The Italian liqueur is part of the Amaro liqueur family, known for its bold and bittersweet herbal flavors.

Aperol is a bit different as it contains less alcohol and also less bitter flavors than most others in this category.

How to serve an Aperol Cosmopolitan

To serve this Aperol Vodka cocktail, you can use a Coupe glass or a Martini glass.

As you may know, the traditional Cosmo is often served in Martini glassware. So if you want to underline the modern character of the drink, use cocktail coupes instead.

Aperol Cosmopolitan served with lime peel

More Aperol cocktails

Aperol is a versatile, complex, low-ABV ingredient and well-suited for making delicious mixed drinks.

Aperol Spritz

This Aperol Cosmopolitan recipe is a real crowd-pleaser and a brilliant way to enjoy Aperol. Still, there are plenty more tasty recipes you can make with the popular Amaro.

  • Aperol Sour: This combination of a classic sour and Aperol Spritz is a fantastic cocktail for the summer.
  • Montreal cocktail: The official drink of the city of Montreal, balanced by the bittersweet taste of Aperol.
  • Queen Mother cocktail: A drink based on Dubonnet and Gin, honoring Queen Mother.
  • Aperol Spritz: Probably the most popular Aperol drink and the reason why this liqueur became so famous.
  • Aperol Negroni: A fancy little twist on the traditional Negroni recipe substituting Campari with Aperol.
  • Elderflower Aperol and Vodka Spritz: A twist on the classic Aperol Spritz made with Vodka and St. Germain.

Twists on the recipe

This Aperol Cosmpolitan recipe only calls for three ingredients, so balance is key. If the formula below is a little too sweet for your liking, increase the amount of lime juice to 0.75oz.

Plus, to reduce the harsh acidic bite, you can consider aging your lime juice prior to using it in the drink. That will result in a more mellow yet still limey flavor.

Aperol Cosmopolitan top view

Another way to tweak the recipe is by adding Cointreau to the mix. Begin with adding just half an ounce to see how this affects the taste. From there, you can increase acidity (more lime) or sweetness (more Aperol/Cointreau) to taste.

Which Vodka for the Aperol Cosmo?

Everyone knows Vodka, but most people don't know that Vodka doesn't always taste the same. Vodka can be made from a variety of ingredients like rye, wheat, barley, potatoes, and so on.

In general, grain Vodka is best for serving neat. That is because the grain-based Vodkas tend to be more flavorful and have a distinct taste.

In cocktails, potato Vodka is a better choice. The taste of potato Vodka is mild and smooth and blends well with other ingredients. Especially, Polish Vodkas make excellent base spirits for mixed drinks.

My recommendation is either a Chopin Vodka made from potatoes or Luksusowa Vodka.

Aperol Cosmopolitan with Vodka

Aperol Cosmopolitan

A tasty cocktail that's based on a combination of Aperol and Vodka.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: aperol, lime juice, vodka
Servings: 1
Calories: 212kcal
Cost: $3.10


  • 1 Jigger
  • 1 Cocktail Shaker
  • 1 Hawthorne Strainer


  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 1.5 oz Aperol
  • 0.5 oz Lime juice
  • Lime peel, twist, or wheel for garnish


  • Chill your coupe or Martini glass by putting it in the freezer 20 minutes before making the drink.
  • Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
    2 oz Vodka, 0.5 oz Lime juice, 1.5 oz Aperol
  • Shake for 15 seconds or until the drink is well chilled.
  • Strain into your chilled coupe or Martini glass and garnish as preferred.
    Lime peel, twist, or wheel for garnish


Serving: 4.25ozCalories: 212kcalCarbohydrates: 13.76gProtein: 0.16gFat: 0.03gSodium: 0.96mgPotassium: 19.36mgSugar: 12.27gVitamin C: 4.8mgCalcium: 2.24mgIron: 0.02mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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