Love Aperol? Go beyond the Spritz with these vibrant Bourbon Aperol Cocktails. A splash of Prosecco or club soda keeps these bourbon and Aperol drinks light and refreshing. Make one in minutes!
Changing seasons mean shaking up our cocktail routine. We gravitate to richer, more robust flavors. But that doesn’t mean we have to say goodbye to summer favorites entirely.
Add some seasonality to your favorite Aperol drink with this recipe for Bourbon Aperol Cocktails. The bourbon lends a bit of heft to what would otherwise be a lighter cocktail made from tangy Aperol, bubby Prosecco and a splash of simple syrup - a perfect meld of flavors to match the change in the seasons.
What makes this drink unique
➤ It's well-balanced: Bourbon adds weight to this drink to counterbalance the fruity and bitter Aperol while sparkling Prosecco (or club soda) and a bit of simple syrup keep it from tasting overly boozy.
➤ It has vibrant color: If you're looking for a statement cocktail, you've come to the right place! There is no disguising Aperol's bright orange color so why not celebrate it? It's the perfect fall drink for Halloween or Thanksgiving.
➤ It has only 5 ingredients and is easy to make: Everything you need to make this Aperol cocktail is readily available at any well-stocked liquor store. Just measure, shake and pour.
A few ingredient notes:
- Bourbon: Use your favorite brand. You can also substitute whiskey if you don't have any bourbon.
- Prosecco: Any dry sparkling wine will work in this recipe. Or you can easily substitute club soda.
- Simple syrup: Buy a bottle at the store or make your own simple syrup at home. You only need two ingredients. It's super easy and super cheap!
Making these cocktails couldn’t be easier!
Fill a lowball glass with ice. Add bourbon and Aperol.
Add simple syrup and squeeze orange wedge into glass.
Top with Prosecco (or club soda) and gently stir to combine.
Tip: Only making one or two drinks? Grab the mini bottles of Prosecco from the liquor store. They typically come in packs of three and are great to have on hand when your cocktail calls for a splash of bubbles but you don’t want to open a big bottle of Prosecco for just a few drinks.
Aperol is an bright orange-hued Italian aperitif. Its low alcohol content (11%) makes it the perfect sipper to help stimulate the appetite before a meal.
Yes, you can. It's more common in Europe than in America, however. Aperol has a unique flavor (think slightly sour orange, tart rhubarb and a bit of herbs all mixed together) that is mostly used in combination with wines and/or spirits in cocktails. You get just a hint of the mandarin flavor in harmony with other ingredients.
Since Aperol has a lower alcohol content, it doesn't maintain its integrity as well at room temperature as other spirits that have a higher alcohol content. Pop it in the refrigerator after you've opened it to extend its shelf life.
Expert tips for making a Bourbon Aperol cocktail
✘ I prefer to use a “fruitier” bourbon (Four Roses) to complement the orange wedge and orange twist in this drink but feel free to experiment and find the brand that works for you. You can easily substitute your favorite whiskey for bourbon in this recipe, too.
✘ Simple syrup is easy and inexpensive to make yourself. Plus it will last weeks in the fridge. Check out our post on how to make simple syrup at home.
✘ Don't have prosecco? Use club soda instead!
✘ Hosting a crowd? These drinks can easily be multiplied as a batch cocktail for your guests (I highly recommend adding these to your Thanksgiving menu!). Or tuck a few into a thermos the next time you tailgate for the big game along with a container of our crazy popular Layered Greek Dip.
More Aperol cocktails
- The most popular cocktail to make with Aperol is an Aperol Spritz. This drink has only three ingredients - Prosecco, Aperol and a hint of sparkling water.
- Aperol’s low alcohol content also makes it a good mixer with gin, too, like in our popular Aperol Gin Cocktail.
- These Grapefruit Aperol Cocktails were made for margarita lovers. If you're a tequila fan, this Aperol drink is for you!
More bourbon drinks
Find all of tasty cocktail recipes in our archives.
Did you make this recipe? We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please rate the recipe and leave a comment below. Your feedback helps us and your fellow readers!
Bourbon Aperol Cocktails
- 1 ½ ounces bourbon
- 1 ounce Aperol
- ½ ounce simple syrup
- 1 orange wedge
- 3 ounces Prosecco
- Pour bourbon, Aperol and simple syrup into a lowball glass filled with ice.1 ½ ounces bourbon, 1 ounce Aperol, ½ ounce simple syrup
- Squeeze and drop orange wedge into glass. Top with Prosecco. Stir gently to combine.1 orange wedge, 3 ounces Prosecco
- Garnish with orange twist, if desired. Serve immediately.
- I used a "fruitier" bourbon (Four Roses) but feel free to use your favorite bourbon or substitute whiskey instead.
- Simple syrup is easy - and super inexpensive - to make! Follow our recipe to make your own simple syrup at home.
- If you're only making one or two drinks, grab the mini bottles of Prosecco from the liquor store. They are great to have on hand when your cocktail calls for a splash of bubbles but you don’t want to open a big bottle of Prosecco for just a few drinks. Club soda also works well as a substitute for Prosecco.
- Wondering what to do with the rest of the bottle of Aperol? Try our Aperol Gin Cocktails or our Grapefruit Aperol Cocktails.
- Recipe adapted from Southern Living magazine.
Nutrition info not guaranteed to be accurate.
Can simple syrup go bad? I've got some left in the refrigerator for well over a year.
Hi Steve, I'm no food safety expert, but I think you might want to start with a fresh batch of simple syrup for your next round of cocktails. It may not be visible, but bacteria can grow in even a cold environment like a fridge.
Simple syrup is added to many cocktails to balance the flavours- sweeten it up a bit. Having to stir the cocktail to dissolve the sugar can be time consuming during high peak business hours. Therefore making a simple syrup (equal parts hot water and sugar) to add to cocktails is a time saver. You can also experiment with making simple syrups to add a little more depth and character to classic cocktails.
I like to make a Demerara (brown sugar) syrup and use it in my old fashions along with a gentle mist of lagavulin scotch 🙂
Why do so many cocktails include simple syrup. I find it annoying to have to add sugar to things in general.