Hugo Spritz

Mastering the Refreshing Hugo Spritz

You’ve just conquered the slopes of Livigno, carving your way through pristine powder, and now, it’s time for a well-deserved reward. As you settle into a cozy bar at the base of the mountain, a vibrant green cocktail catches your eye – the Hugo Spritz. This refreshing concoction, with its delicate floral notes and bubbly zest, is not just a drink; it’s an experience that embodies the spirit of Italian Aperitivo culture.

Two Hugo Spritz drinks

During my recent ski trip to Livigno in the Italian Alps, the Hugo Spritz became my go-to post-ski indulgence. (As well as the hot Bombardino egg nog!) Every sip transported me to a world of carefree evenings, lively conversations, and a sense of pure joy. But the magic of the Hugo Spritz goes beyond its deliciousness; it has a unique role in Italian social culture.

A Spritz with a Story: The History of the Hugo

Unlike its more widely known cousin, the Aperol Spritz, the Hugo Spritz boasts a relatively young history. Invented in 2005 by bartender Roland Gruber in South Tyrol, it quickly rose to fame within the region and beyond. Its name, a playful nod to the French novelist Victor Hugo, reflects its playful spirit and literary connection.

Two Hugo Spritz drinks with a charcuterie board.

So, what sets the Hugo Spritz apart? It’s all about the elderflower! This delicate flower’s liqueur, St-Germain, forms the heart of the cocktail, imbuing it with a subtle floral sweetness. This sweetness is balanced by the refreshing acidity of Prosecco and the gentle fizz of soda water. Both create a light and bubbly libation perfect for any occasion.

Beyond Apres Ski: The Allure of the Aperitivo

The Hugo Spritz is more than just a cocktail; it’s an embodiment of the Italian Aperitivo tradition. This cherished ritual, occurring before dinner, involves enjoying light bites and refreshing drinks. It’s meant to stimulate the appetite and socialize with friends. The Hugo Spritz, with its low alcohol content and vibrant flavors, perfectly fits this bill. This makes it a popular choice for both locals and tourists.

Gather your friends, put on some Italian music, and prepare some light snacks like olives, bruschetta, or cheese and charcuterie. Savor the conversation, the laughter, and the joy of slowing down and connecting over a refreshing drink.

Ready to Mix Your Own Italian Magic? The Hugo Spritz Recipe

Now, let’s get down to business! Making your own Hugo Spritz is extremely simple, requiring just a few ingredients and a few minutes of your time. So, gather your friends and crank up some Italian tunes. Prepare to recreate a taste of that Livigno apres ski magic! Buon appetito and happy mixing!

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Two Hugo Spritz drinks

Hugo Spritz

Recipe by Jason Hill –
The Hugo Spritz, with its delicate floral notes and bubbly zest, is not just a drink; it's an experience that embodies the spirit of Italian Aperitivo culture.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1


  • 1 oz St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 3 oz Prosecco chilled
  • 2 oz Soda water chilled
  • Fresh mint leaves for garnish
  • Lime wedge for garnish


  • Fill a wine glass with ice.
  • Add the St-Germain liqueur and gently muddle the mint leaves in the glass, releasing their fragrant oils.
  • Top with chilled Prosecco and soda water.
  • Garnish with a fresh mint sprig and a lime wedge.
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Tips & Tricks for the Perfect Spritz
  • Use high-quality ingredients for the best flavor. Opt for a good brand of St-Germain and a dry Prosecco.
  • Adjust the strength to your preference. You can use more or less Prosecco depending on how strong you like your drink.
  • Get creative with garnishes! Try using fresh berries, rosemary sprigs, or even a thin slice of cucumber for a refreshing twist.
  • Make it a batch! This recipe easily scales up, making it perfect for entertaining.
Keyword cocktails, Elderflower, Italy, lime, mint, prosecco, spritz
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AboutJason Hill

Hi, I’m Jason Hill, host of YouTube’s “Chef Tips” series. I graduated from culinary school in 1998, and gained my experience working the lines in Southern California. I launched my cooking videos in 2007. I love sharing quick and easy recipes that get people back in the kitchen.

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