Skip to main content

This tart twist on the Aperol spritz will be your favorite new cocktail — and we’ve got an amazing recipe

Aperol spritz alternative: Meet the rhubarb spritz

federica ariemma/Unsplash

If you live under a proverbial rock, don’t spend your days on social media, or simply aren’t up to date on the trending cocktails du jour, you might not know that the Aperol spritz is going through a renaissance right now. First created for Venetian palates back in 1920, this more than 100-year-old aperitif (before-dinner drink) is commonly made with prosecco (Italian sparking wine), Aperol (an herbal, Italian digestive liqueur), and soda water. While always popular in Italy, it’s become one of the most popular before-dinner, afternoon, or anytime cocktails of the last few years.

But while the classic recipe is an outstanding, refreshing, bittersweet way to whet your appetite before a nice lunch, dinner, or evening snack, it’s the kind of versatile mixed drink that shines even brighter when its ingredients are mixed and matched and even switched out for other complementary flavors. Today, we’re specifically talking about the addition of rhubarb. Who doesn’t love more rhubarb recipes, right?

All about rhubarb

If you didn’t know it already, rhubarb is the meaty, fleshy stalk of another plant called Rheum. Cooked, it’s used as an ingredient in pies and other recipes. It’s known for its almost celery-like consistency and flavors of tart, acidic citrus peels, and a light sourness. If you haven’t guessed it already, these flavors are perfect for a refreshing, crisp, easy-drinking cocktail. It’s a way to easily update your spritz recipes.

And since your drink wouldn’t be very tasty if you simply whipped it up and plunked in a few chunks of rhubarb, you have to make rhubarb simple syrup before you get started even thinking about the other ingredients:

  • To make it, add 2-3 stalks of chopped rhubarb to a saucepan.
  • Add a cup of granulated sugar and a cup of water.
  • Turn the heat to slow and slowly stir.
  • When everything is incorporated, remove the rhubarb and add the rhubarb simple syrup to a squirt bottle for later use.

The quality of the drink hinges on the rhubarb simple syrup. Simple syrup on its own is made with water and sugar to make an extremely sweet flavoring that’s used in a multitude of cocktails, including a classic old-fashioned or mojito (if you don’t have time to muddle a sugar cube). The addition of rhubarb will make the syrup a mix of tart citrus and sweet sugar. What could be better?

The best part? This tart, lightly sour, semisweet cocktail doesn’t completely lose its popular Aperol addition. Instead of being the showcase liqueur, it’s a side flavor that’s used to enhance the other included flavors. This drink is fresh, refreshing, thirst-quenching, and just might become your new go-to aperitif.

Aperol Sprtiz
Kike Salazar/Unsplash

Rhubarb spritz recipe


  • 2 ounces of rhubarb syrup
  • 3 ounces prosecco
  • A few dashes of Aperol
  • Sparkling water topper
  • Orange wheel garnish


  • Add ice to a large wine glass.
  • Add rhubarb simple syrup, prosecco, and a few dashes of Aperol.
  • Top with your favorite sparkling water.
  • Gently stir to combine.
  • Add an orange wheel garnish.
  • Maybe add a rhubarb stalk or two as a garnish as well? Or better yet, don’t.

Editors' Recommendations

Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
Bourbon fans: These 8 dark rums are great adds to your liquor cabinet (because they’re a lot like bourbon)
Bourbon enthusiasts may just switch allegiance
Dark Rum

Autumn chugging towards winter like a pumpkin-spiced latte-fueled train. It’s inevitable. The weather is growing colder, and the days are getting shorter, regardless of whether or not you live somewhere with seasons. Generally, this means we crack open bottles of our favorite bourbon, rye whiskey, Japanese whisky, or single malt Scotch whisky and sip it slowly as we watch the leaves fall gently from the trees. But if you’re limiting yourself to just whisk(e)y this time of year, you’re doing yourself a major disservice. It would behoove you to add dark rum to your sipping rotation.

Don’t believe us? There are numerous dark rums perfectly suited for your whiskey-centric palate. Sure, rum is a sugarcane juice or molasses-based spirit. But when it’s aged for months or years in charred oak, familiar whiskey flavors like caramel, vanilla, oak, dried fruits, and spices are added.

Read more
This creative old-fashioned recipe has two bitters and a unique bourbon that give it a campfire feel
An old fashioned recipe that's perfect for winter
Bib & Tucker old fashioned

There are classic cocktails, and then there’s the old-fashioned. While the cocktail renaissance of the last few decades has unearthed many traditional cocktails and brought others back to the forefront (like the daiquiri, gimlet, Manhattan, Tom Collins, negroni, and others), none are as timeless as the old-fashioned. This whiskey-based drink is as popular as ever.

The aptly named cocktail is a very boozy drink with a whiskey base. Recipes call for rye or bourbon; what you use is entirely up to you. Since whiskey is the star of the show and the prominent flavor, the drink will be quite different depending on the whiskey you (or your favorite bartender) select. Rye whiskey-based old fashioneds will have a spicy, peppery bite, while bourbon-based old fashioneds will have a sweet corn base. Both are great options.

Read more
Forget the wine this Thanksgiving: 5 batch cocktails that just might be better for your group dinner
Batch cocktails are better than wine - here's why
Crowd of people toasting with cocktails

If we're completely honest with ourselves, alcohol on Thanksgiving is every bit as important as the turkey. Maybe you're the sole cook in the kitchen, upon whom the entire culinary burden is placed, and you need a little stress relief. Maybe your single, child-free lifestyle is something that, for some reason, is up for debate between every member of your family. Or maybe you just really need something to get you through dinner with Uncle Steve yammering on about his rifle collection. Whatever the reason, on Thanksgiving, booze is a necessity.

In many families, the social lubricant of choice with Thanksgiving dinner is wine, which makes sense. For many, wine feels like the correct, most sophisticated choice for what may be the most elegant meal of the year. But the truth is, not everyone likes wine, and it's nice to have other options available for those who would prefer to douse their familial frustrations in mezcal or whiskey and not pinot noir.

Read more