Hugo spritz is the Italian summer drink you didn’t know you needed on a hot day!
I’d never heard of an Hugo spritz before moving to Italy. Pronounced the Italian way, without the “h,” Hugo spritz is local to the South Tyrol region in northern Italy. Think Dolomite Alps, and you’ve got the place. Because it comes from alpine regions, several countries claim it as a local favorite.
Traditionally, this drink is a bit sweet but light and refreshing. Many Americans compare this to an Italian version of a mojito with the mint and citrus. I see the similarities, but I’d compare it a bit more to a fruitier (and less sweet) French 75. Regardless, elderflower is the primary flavor and it brings a refreshing lovely flavor to a summer evening!
In Italy the drink is made with elderflower syrup or cordial – it’s nonalcoholic and adds the flavor element crucial to the drink. I’ve found some made locally, which has incredible flavor, but you can also buy the syrup online made commercially.
If you’re based in the US, the simplest option would be to buy St. Germain or another elderflower liqueur – it’s probably available where you buy liquor. At only 20% alcohol, it doesn’t make the drink that much stronger.
If you want to go uber traditional, use a lemon. Limes are somewhat hard to find here in supermarkets but they’re definitely not locally grown! However, most local bars use limes over lemon – it’s a prettier drink, as well as better balancing the sweetness of the elderflower.
The version I’ve made here is a normal aperitivo in terms of alcohol content, but you can easily make this mocktail by substituting sparkling water for the prosecco. You can also play with the ratios of water and prosecco to fit what you like!
- 1 cup prosecco (8 oz)
- 1 Tbsp elderflower liquer 15 ml
- 1 slice lime or lemon
- 1 bunch mint
- 1-2 Tbsp sparkling water
- Put a few sprigs of mint in the bottom of the glass.
- Add the prosecco, elderflower, and sparkling water to the glass. Top with lime, more mint, and ice. Stir and serve!
Make yourself an hugo spritz and pretend you’re sitting in the Alps on a hot summer day!
Want more drink inspiration? I’m sharing a different cocktail or mocktail drink every Sunday this month on Instagram!