The botanical flavors in Gin and the herbal fruitiness in Aperol go extremely well together. Yet, there aren't many classic recipes that make use of this flavor combination.
We put together a short list of the best cocktails featuring Gin and Aperol. -From light and refreshing drinks to complex and bold apéritif cocktails.
But first, let's have a quick look at Aperol because the popular Amaro from Italy is far more than the base of an Aperol Spritz.
The story behind Aperol
Aperol is one of the up-and-coming Amari. With only 11% ABV, the Italian bitter liqueur is relatively light. And Aperol is not only one of the lightest Amari but also one of the least bitter ones.
The story of Aperol began in 1912 when brothers Silvio and Luigi Barbieri created their first orange-hued liqueur. It took them seven years to perfect and develop the final version of Aperol.
But it took around 30 years for the herbal liqueur to gain traction. By the end of the second world war, the Aperol Spritz was invented and started generating sales.
Even though the real success only happened after the acquisition by the Campari group in 2003. Two decades ago, Campari managed to skyrocket the popularity of Aperol by promoting the Aperol Spritz in Europe and later in the US.
Likely this acquisition is also why Aperol is so often, yet unjustly, compared to Campari.
Sure, both belong to the Amaro category and are known for their striking colors and use in popular apéritif drinks. But although they're part of the same liqueur category, Aperol and Campari are very different.
Without going into too much detail, Aperol is sweeter, fruitier, and much easier to drink than Campari.
Delicious Aperol and Gin cocktail recipes
Moving on to making delicious drinks with Aperol. Traditionally served on the rocks, it is time for some amazing Aperol and Gin cocktails.
The most straightforward one is made by adding a splash of Gin to an Aperol Spritz.
The botanical spirit increases the alcohol level of the aperitif cocktail and also adds some botanical flavors to the drink. And here are more delightful cocktails with Aperol and Gin.
Aperol Gin & Tonic
- 1.5 oz Gin (Edinburgh Seaside Gin or Gin Mare)
- 0.5 oz Aperol
- 4.5 oz Mediterranean tonic water
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- 1 dash of Orange bitters
The Aperol Gin & Tonic is an orange-hued twist on a classic Gin and Tonic. The combination of Aperol and Gin increases the complexity of the famous Highball.
The combination works best with Mediterranean tonic water and a Gin that brings in some salinity.
Jointly with the herbal and fruity flavors of Aperol, you get a perfect summer drink. Plus, you can build it in the glass and don't require a mixing glass or shaker.
- 1 oz Gin
- 1 oz Aperol
- 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
- 1 dash of Orange bitters
- 1 Orange peel
If the classic Negroni is too boozy and bitter for your taste buds, then try the Aperol version. The Aperol Negroni is a riff on the traditional, Campari-based cocktail.
It's a less bitter, sweeter, and fruitier version of the popular three-ingredient drink. The color is slightly brighter and tends to be a little more orange than red.
- 1.5oz Aperol
- 0.5oz Gin
- 0.75 Fresh lemon juice
- 0.5oz Prosecco syrup
- Egg white or Aquafaba
- 3 drops of Orange cocktail bitters
The Aperol (Gin) Sour is an elegant sour cocktail based on Gin and Aperol. Following the traditional template of Sour cocktails: spirit base, sweetener, and citrus juice.
Our Aperol Sour cocktail recipe is a low-ABV drink with a refreshingly tart taste and some floral and herbal notes.
Also, the color and the frothy foam on top make this drink a fabulous alternative to an Aperol Spritz.
Queen Mother cocktail
- 1 oz Dry Gin
- 1 oz Dubonnet
- 0.75 oz Aperol
- 0.25 oz Jamaican overproof pot still Rum
Queen Elizabeth was known to be an enthusiastic Dubonnet and Gin drinker, and so is her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II. This two-ingredient drink is still part of the daily lunch ritual of the latter.
In 2014, Jake Burger from the Portobello Star in London enhanced this drink by adding two extra ingredients to the mix:
His Queen Mother cocktail features Dubonnet, Dry Gin, Aperol, and a bit of Jamaican overproof pot still Rum.
- 0.75 oz Canadian Rye Whisky
- 0.75 oz London Dry Gin
- 0.75 oz Suze
- 0.75 oz Aperol
In 2017, 15 bartenders collectively created the recipe for the Montreal cocktail. That was done to celebrate the 375th birthday of the city of Montreal.
London Dry Gin reflects the English influence, while Suze, aka Gentian liqueur, reflects the French influence in the city.
Canadian Rye and some Italian Aperol liqueur round off the recipe and make the Montreal cocktail a stunning apéritif cocktail.