I remember the first time I ever savored a Hugo Spritz. It was on a warm summer afternoon while at a lavender festival in Venzone, Italy. I had run into a friend at a local bar. Saw she was drinking something which clearly involved mint and lime. Mojitos are my absolute favorite cocktail so I had to ask. She replied, “This? This is a Hugo Spritz.” Thus my new love was born. I asked the bartender how I could make one at home and he shared the Hugo Spritz Recipe. It’s simple and delicious and contains a combination of elderflower syrup or liqueur and Prosecco.
In Italy the phrase “bar” most often refers to a place you can get an espresso, usually consumed quickly, standing at the bar, or quick meal and a glass of wine, it’s not like the bars here in the States. Kids are often seen enjoying gelato or sandwich while their parents enjoy a spritz, as did I on this special day when I sipped my first Hugo Spritz, and then my second. It was pretty hot as I recall. Making this the perfect simple recipe for a refreshing drink you can savor all summer long.
Alas, I am no longer in Italy and though I miss it every single day, there are still ways to bring Italy home to America. One of those ways is the wonderful aperitifs… Like this lovely and very pretty Hugo Spritz.
Authentic Italian Hugo Spritz Recipe
- 1 oz St. Germain or other Elderflower Liqueur (or syrup).
- 3-4 fresh Mint Leaves
- 1 small slice lime (optional)
- 2 oz unflavored sparkling water
- 4-5 ounces prosecco*, chilled
- Fill a wine glass with ice. If you want to serve it as it is served in Italy only add two ice cubes, three at the most. If your guests ask you for more give them the side eye and huff, “No!”.
- Pour one ounce of St. Germain directly over the ice and then add a few mint leaves and a slice of lime.
- Top off the glass with 4-5 ounces of chilled prosecco.
- Stir briskly for a moment and enjoy pronto!
*For a non-alcoholic version, swap out the wine for ginger ale or lemon/lime soda and use Elderflower syrup.