Bursting with citrus flavor, this bright and bubbly Limoncello Spritz is Italy's answer to happy hour! Made with only 4 ingredients - Limoncello, Prosecco, lemon juice and sparkling water - this cocktail is the perfect balance of tangy and sweet. Enjoy a glass of this light and refreshing spritzer in minutes!
If your summer plans don't include lounging on the Italian Riviera (yeah, me neither), you can still enjoy a classic Italian aperitivo (or happy hour cocktail) in your own backyard with this simple and delicious Limoncello Spritz recipe.
This refreshing twist on the Aperol Spritz is a lemon lover's dream, with sweet Limoncello liqueur, effervescent Prosecco, tart lemon juice and a splash of sparkling water. Quick, easy and fuss-free, it's a delicious way to cool off on a hot summer day.
Why you'll love this drink
➤ Full-flavored but not too heavy: Warm weather drinks should be light and refreshing. This Limoncello Spritz is packed with flavor without being overly boozy.
➤ Fuss-free cocktail: There's no prep needed for this thirst-quenching drink. Make it right in the glass it's served in.
➤ Perfectly balanced: Sweet limoncello and freshly squeezed tart lemon juice ensure this drink is equal parts sweet and tangy. It's a delicious Italian cocktail that is sure to please everyone!
You only need four ingredients to make a refreshing lemon liqueur spritzer.
A few ingredient notes:
・Prosecco: I often have this Italian sparkling wine on hand because I use it in a variety of cocktails. It's relatively inexpensive, but you can also use Spanish Cava or any other dry sparkling wine that you would drink by the glass.
・Limoncello: This sweet Italian lemon liqueur is readily available in most liquor stores. You can also make your own limoncello if you plan ahead.
・Lemon juice: It's tempting to grab a bottle of juice from the store, but freshly squeezed juice takes just a minute with this handheld juicer and makes a world of difference in the flavor of this drink.
・Sparkling water: I prefer a lightly carbonated sparkling mineral water (like San Pellegrino) for this drink but you can also swap any plain sparkling water. Club soda is an option but it does have a slightly salty flavor.
This drink comes together in two minutes and can be made in right in the glass - no cocktail shaker required!
Fill a glass with ice. Pour in limoncello, lemon juice, Prosecco and sparkling water. Stir to combine and garnish with lemon slices and fresh herbs, if desired.
An aperitivo, like a spritz cocktail, is typically a low-alcohol, pre-dinner drink that is very common in Italy (Think Italian happy hour). It's said to stimulate the appetite for dinner. Traditionally aperitivo cocktails tend to be light on alcohol and bitter on taste, which means they pair well with salty snacks. Spritzes of all types - including Aperol, Hugo and Limoncello - follow a similar basic recipe: liqueur, Prosecco and sparkling water.
This sweet and tangy Italian lemon liqueur is made from the zest of lemons and is mostly produced in Southern Italy. It can be served chilled by itself as a before or after dinner drink or as an ingredient in cocktail recipes, like in this Limoncello Spritz. An average bottle costs around $20.
Yes, you can! Chill all your ingredients beforehand and add 12.75 ounces of limoncello, 4.25 ounces of lemon juice, 1 (750ml) bottle of Prosecco and 8 ounces of sparkling water to a large pitcher. Stir to combine and pour into ice-filled glasses. Garnish with lemons and herbs, if desired.
Expert tips for making the best Limoncello Spritz
✔︎ This drink is best served cold, so be sure the glass has plenty of ice. I like to keep all the ingredients in the fridge so they are well-chilled before making this citrus spritz.
✔︎ Dry sparkling wines work best in this recipe. Avoid moscato and other similar sweet sparkling wines to keep the drink from becoming too sweet.
✔︎ Freshly squeezed lemon juice is the best in this drink. The bottled varieties contain preservatives that impact flavor.
✔︎ Use a flavored sparkling water or ginger ale in place of regular sparkling water for a different twist on this spritz.
✔︎ Nearly any fresh herb can be used as garnish in this drink. I used rosemary, but basil, mint or even thyme would be tasty additions.
✔︎ Always stir your limoncello spritz before drinking it to ensure the ingredients are mixed together.
✔︎ Only making one or two drinks? Buy the small, 187ml bottles of Prosecco. They are great to keep on hand when you don't want to open a large bottle of bubbly for just one or two cocktails.
More refreshing summer cocktails
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- 1½ oz limoncello
- ½ oz fresh lemon juice
- 3 oz Prosecco
- 1 oz sparkling water
- Fill a glass with ice. Pour limoncello, lemon juice, Prosecco and sparkling water into glass. Stir to combine. Garnish with lemon slices and fresh herbs, if desired.1½ oz limoncello, ½ oz fresh lemon juice, 3 oz Prosecco, 1 oz sparkling water
- Limoncello is a sweet and tart lemon liqueur from Italy. It is readily available in most liquor stores for around $20/bottle.
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice gives this drink the best flavor.
- Any dry sparkling wine can be used in place of Prosecco. Avoid sweet sparklers like Moscato as they will make the drink too sweet.
- Many fresh herbs can be used as garnish in this drink, including rosemary, basil, mint and thyme.
- This drink is best served cold. Chill all of your ingredients beforehand, if possible.
Only making one or two drinks? Buy the small, 187ml bottles of Prosecco. They are great to keep on hand when you don't want to open a large bottle of bubbly for just one or two cocktails.
Nutrition info not guaranteed to be accurate.