Last Modified On:
February 1, 2024

Easy Hugo Spritz Recipe: Perfect Cocktail for Any Occasion

Indulge in the refreshing blend of sparkling wine, elderflower, and fresh mint with our easy-to-follow Hugo Spritz recipe and impress your guests with this classic cocktail.

5 minutes

Looking for a refreshing, easy-to-make cocktail? Look no further than the Hugo Spritz! This bubbly, light drink is perfect for sipping on a summer afternoon or sharing with friends at a party. In this post, we'll dive into everything you need to know about the Hugo Spritz - from its origins to how to make it at home. We'll also explore fun variations of the drink, expert tips for perfecting it, and even answer some frequently asked questions. And if you love the Hugo Spritz, we'll also introduce you to its cousin - the Aperol Spritz. So grab your ingredients and let's get mixing!

What to Know About The Hugo Spritz Cocktail

The Hugo Spritz, often praised as an enticing, low ABV alternative to the popular Aperol Spritz, has been steadily rising in popularity in cocktail bars as a delightfully light cocktail choice. Originating from the South Tyrol region of Italy, this classic Italian cocktail masterfully combines an ounce of Prosecco with aromatic elderflower syrup, and a splash of soda water, all elegantly garnished with mint leaves and occasionally a slice of lime or lemon. Its allure lies in its simplicity and refinement, offering a delightful blend of floral sweetness and crisp, effervescent zest. Known for its playful charm, this cocktail is a vegan-friendly, summery treat, that is Pinterest or Instagram worthy while enjoying in the sun. The secret to capturing the invigorating essence of the Hugo Spritz lies in combining ice cubes and fresh lime with the right proportions of each ingredient, creating an ideal mix that's as refreshing as a gentle summer breeze.

Tracing Back the Origins of The Hugo Drink

Before we get into the Hugo Spritz Recipe, let's get to know the history. The origins of the Hugo Spritz cocktail are deeply rooted in the picturesque settings of Northern Italy, specifically near the Austrian border, an area known for its rich culinary and mixology traditions. This region, nestled within the breathtaking Dolomite mountain range, provides a stunning backdrop to the birthplace of this now-celebrated drink. It's in this idyllic landscape, where Italian and Austrian cultures blend seamlessly, that the story of the Hugo Spritz begins, capturing the essence of the local flavors and the area's natural beauty.

Bartender Roland Gruber is credited with the creation of this delightful concoction in 2005. Working in Naturns, a small town in South Tyrol, Gruber sought to craft a cocktail that would offer a refreshing alternative to the more commonly served spritzes in the area. He artfully combined the lightness of Prosecco with the floral notes of elderflower, a common sight in the lush countryside of Northern Italy. This innovative mix, coupled with a splash of soda and fresh mint for an extra burst of freshness, quickly captivated locals and visitors alike. The Hugo Spritz, named by Gruber, soon became a symbol of the region, embodying the tranquil beauty and the vibrant culinary spirit of the areas along the Austrian border and the Dolomites.

So let's get into the Hugo Spritz Cocktail Recipe!

Necessary Hugo Spritz Ingredients

Here's a list of all the Hugo Spritz ingredients needed:

  • Prosecco: 150 ml
  • Elderflower syrup: 30 ml
  • Club Soda or Soda water: 20 ml
  • Fresh mint leaves: 3-4
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon or lime slices (optional, for garnish)

Hugo Spritz Recipe: Step-by-Step

  1. Prepare Your Glass: Choose a large wine glass for the best experience. This allows ample room for the ingredients and ice, enhancing the drink's aroma and appearance.
  2. Add Ice: Fill the glass with ice cubes. For an extra touch of elegance, you can use large, clear ice cubes that melt slower and keep your drink chilled longer.
  3. Mint Leaves: Place 3-4 fresh mint leaves in your hand and clap them gently. This releases the oils and aroma of the mint without crushing the leaves. Add them to the glass.
  4. Pour Elderflower Syrup: Measure and pour 30 ml of elderflower syrup into the glass. The syrup adds a sweet, floral flavor that is key to the Hugo Spritz's unique taste.
  5. Add Prosecco: Carefully pour 150 ml of Prosecco over the ice. Tilt the glass slightly while pouring to preserve the Prosecco's bubbles.
  6. Top with Soda Water: Add a splash of soda water, about 20 ml, to bring a refreshing fizz to your cocktail.
  7. Garnish: For a final touch, garnish with a slice of lime or lemon. This not only adds a hint of citrus flavor but also makes the drink visually appealing.
  8. Stir Gently: Use a cocktail stirrer or a spoon to gently mix the drink. Be careful not to stir too vigorously as this can cause the Prosecco to lose its effervescence.
  9. Serve Immediately: Enjoy right away while it's chilled and the flavors are at their peak.
hugo spritz cocktail

Exploring Variations of the Hugo Spritz

Embark on a lively excursion through the diverse flavors of Hugo spritzes. Playfully experiment with an array of fruits to craft personalized variations that reflect your unique style. Infuse your spritz with a playful twist by exploring different fruits and spirits, elevating your mixology game. Unleash your creativity as you engage in the delightful dance of flavors, crafting variations that are a true reflection of your adventurous spirit!

Adding a Twist with Different Fruits

The Hugo cocktail offers limitless possibilities for creativity and personalization. In the following sections, we'll explore how adding fruits can enhance the classic flavor profile. We'll also experiment with different spirits to transform the drink's character. Lastly, we'll provide alternatives for elderflower liqueur, maintaining elegance while introducing new taste experiences.

Experimenting with Different Spirits

  • Champagne: For a more luxurious touch, Champagne adds a refined and sophisticated flair.
  • Cava: This Spanish sparkling wine brings a unique character with its crisp and citrusy notes.
  • Sekt: A German or Austrian sparkling wine, Sekt offers a delicate and slightly fruitier alternative.
  • Vodka: Adding vodka creates a stronger cocktail with a clean, smooth finish.
  • Gin: For a botanical twist, gin can introduce complex and herbal undertones to the drink.
  • White Rum: Incorporating white rum adds a subtly sweet and tropical vibe.
  • Aperol: To create a bittersweet and vibrant version, Aperol can be a wonderful addition.
  • Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Wine: For a non-alcoholic version, this keeps the bubbly aspect while being inclusive for all.
  • Elderflower Gin: For a more intense elderflower flavor, elderflower-infused gin can be a delightful choice.
  • Limoncello: Adding this Italian lemon liqueur offers a zesty, citrus-forward spin on the classic Hugo.

Alternatives for Elderflower Liqueur

Looking for a floral twist in your Hugo Spritz recipe? Experiment with elderflower cordial, a delightful alternative to elderflower liqueur. Consider using elderflower syrup as a creative substitute, or try incorporating a homemade elderflower liqueur for a unique twist. Want to go further? Explore other floral liqueurs, such as St. Germain, to discover exciting alternatives for a playful twist on your refreshing Hugo Spritz cocktail. With a bit of creativity, the possibilities are endless for elevating your cocktail experience.

Storing and Serving Your Hugo Cocktail

Elevate your hosting game with masterful tips on storing and serving Hugo spritzes, infusing whimsy into every sip. Embrace a delightful approach to transform gatherings into spirited affairs. Discover the playful nuances that ensure a refreshing experience for your guests. From optimal storage conditions to expert serving tips, become the cocktail connoisseur of your social circle.

Optimal Storage Conditions

To ensure that every sip of your Hugo cocktail retains its delightful effervescence and aromatic bouquet, optimal storage conditions are crucial. This elegant cocktail is best enjoyed fresh, but if you need to store it, keep it in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. The Prosecco and any additional spirits should be stored upright in a wine cooler or refrigerator to maintain their crispness and prevent oxidation. Elderflower syrup, being a non-alcoholic component, should be kept refrigerated after opening to preserve its floral notes and freshness. For the soda water or seltzer, store it in a cool place, and once opened, ensure it's tightly sealed and refrigerated to retain the carbonation. Remember, the key to preserving the Hugo Spritz's charm lies in keeping each ingredient as fresh and vibrant as possible before mixing, ensuring every glass served is as tantalizing as the first.

Tips for Serving

For large gatherings, it's best to make a large batch of hugo spritzes by adding 2 cups of elderflower liqueur to a pitcher and topping it with a bottle of prosecco and a cup of sparkling water. Stir the ingredients to blend using a bartender's spoon. This cocktail is perfect for any occasion and can be easily customized to suit your taste preferences.

Expert Tips for the Perfect Hugo Spritz

  • Prosecco Proportions: Aim for a balanced mix with two parts Prosecco to one part soda or seltzer. This ratio ensures the cocktail is refreshing without overpowering the delicate flavors.
  • Chilled White Wine: If substituting Prosecco with white wine, ensure it's well-chilled to maintain the drink's crispness and prevent rapid melting of ice.
  • Lime Wheel Garnish: Enhance the presentation and add a zesty aroma by garnishing with a lime wheel. It adds a subtle citrus flavor that complements the cocktail beautifully.
  • Quality Liquor: When experimenting with different liquors for a twist, choose high-quality options to ensure the overall taste remains sophisticated and enjoyable.

Choosing the Right Prosecco

A delightful Hugo drink experience starts with the right prosecco. Opt for a crisp, dry prosecco to complement floral elderflower and zesty lime. Quality prosecco with balanced flavors enhances the effervescence of your cocktail. Choosing the perfect prosecco is key to a delightful Hugo Spritz.

Balancing The Flavors

Crafting the perfect Hugo drink demands a delicate symphony of flavors. Achieving the ideal balance of floral, citrus, and effervescence is key to concocting a tantalizing cocktail. Harmonizing elderflower liqueur, prosecco, and soda water is crucial for an exhilarating libation. The interplay of elderflower, lime, and prosecco creates a harmonious flavor that tantalizes the palate. Mastering the art of balancing flavors is fundamental in the pursuit of mixology mastery, resulting in a captivating and satisfying Hugo Spritz cocktail.

Preparing the Mint for Garnish

Preparing mint for garnishing your Hugo Spritz is a simple yet crucial step that elevates the drink's sensory appeal. Here's how to prepare mint for garnishing your Hugo Spritz, broken down into easy steps:

  1. Select and Clean: Choose fresh, vibrant mint leaves, ensuring they are green and free from brown spots. Rinse them gently under cold water to clean.
  2. Dry and Arouse Aroma: Pat the leaves dry with a paper towel, then gently clap them between your hands. This action releases the essential oils, heightening the mint's fragrance without bruising the leaves.
  3. Garnish: Place the aromatic mint leaves atop your Hugo Spritz or along the rim of the glass for an elegant and visually appealing garnish, enhancing both the scent and flavor of your cocktail.

Frequently Asked Questions about Hugo Spritz

What is a Hugo Spritz made of?

A Hugo Spritz is made with Prosecco, elderflower syrup, soda water, and fresh mint leaves. It's often garnished with a slice of lime or lemon, offering a refreshing blend of floral sweetness and crisp, bubbly zest, perfect for summer evenings or as an aperitif.

What is the difference between a Hugo Spritz and an Aperol Spritz?

The Hugo Spritz differs from an Aperol Spritz in its key ingredients: Hugo uses elderflower syrup and fresh mint, creating a floral and refreshing taste. In contrast, Aperol Spritz features Aperol liqueur, providing a distinctly bittersweet, citrusy flavor with a vibrant orange hue.

What does a Hugo Spritz taste like?

A Hugo Spritz offers a harmonious blend of flavors - the floral, sweet notes of elderflower syrup, the crisp, fruity effervescence of Prosecco, and a refreshing hint of mint. This combination, along with a subtle fizz from soda water, creates a light, refreshing, and subtly sweet taste.

Why is it called a Hugo Spritz?

The Hugo Spritz is named by its creator, Roland Gruber, a bartender from South Tyrol, Italy. He coined the name 'Hugo' for this refreshing cocktail in 2005, seeking a simple and evocative name that would capture the essence of its light and floral characteristics.

What's the Best Time to Enjoy Hugo Spritz?

Embrace the refreshing Hugo Spritz during a midsummer's afternoon or at the golden hour to savor its floral notes. It's perfect for brunch gatherings, unwinding on a patio, or sharing with friends for a lighthearted evening.

Try These Other Refreshing Vegan Cocktails

  • Bahama Mama: Transport yourself to tropical bliss with the Bahama Mama. This vibrant cocktail is a symphony of flavors, blending rum, coconut rum, grenadine, and a mix of orange and pineapple juices. Its fruity and sweet profile, enhanced by the richness of rum, makes it an irresistible choice for those who enjoy a taste of the islands.
  • AMF Drink: For an adventurous night, the AMF (Adios Motherf***er) is a bold choice. This potent mix combines vodka, rum, tequila, gin, and blue curaçao, topped with sweet and sour mix and a splash of soda. Its striking blue hue and powerful punch make it a favorite for those looking to make a statement.
  • Espresso Martini: Coffee lovers, rejoice! The Espresso Martini offers a sophisticated blend of vodka, coffee liqueur, and freshly brewed espresso. This cocktail is not only a visual delight with its creamy froth but also a perfect pick-me-up, marrying the richness of coffee with the smoothness of vodka.
  • Kentucky Mule: A Southern twist on the classic Moscow Mule, the Kentucky Mule replaces vodka with bourbon, mixed with spicy ginger beer and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. This cocktail is both refreshing and warming, making it an excellent choice for any season, especially for those who appreciate the distinctive flavor of bourbon.


So there you have it, a comprehensive guide to creating the perfect Hugo Spritz at home. Whether you prefer the classic version or want to experiment with different fruits and spirits, there's a Hugo Spritz variation for everyone. Remember to store your ingredients properly and serve the cocktail in chilled glasses for the best experience. And if you're feeling adventurous, why not try an Aperol Spritz next? It's another refreshing and delicious cocktail that's perfect for any occasion. Cheers to homemade cocktails and endless summer vibes!