An Aperol sour is a tart, bold, and delicious cocktail. It combines Aperol, whiskey, and lemon juice for a fun spin on the classic sour drink.
Ever since the Aperol Spritz became popular, the slightly bitter and vibrantly orange-colored liquor has been popping up in many cocktails. It is most commonly combined with another liquor to create a delicious and complex drink.
The Aperol Sour is a fun spin on the classic sour cocktail. The bitterness of the Aperol, balanced with a spicy whiskey, tart lemon, and a touch of sugar creates a refreshing, sippable cocktail. It is my new favorite cocktail!
What Is an Aperol Sour?
A sour is a type of cocktail. Sours combine a base liquor with lemon or lime juice and a sweetener. Sometimes they contain egg whites, but not always. The two most popular sours are the whiskey sour and the gin sour.
An Aperol sour is a cocktail where Aperol is the base liquor. Aperol is a bittersweet, aromatic Italian liquor. It’s derived from rhubarb and other roots. Despite its vibrant orange hue, it does not contain oranges! It is part of the aperitif family of liquors. Aperitifs are dry and bitter to stimulate the appetite. They are typically served either before a meal or after to help with digestion.
Aperol sours often utilize a second liquor as well. This recipe combines Aperol, whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup to create an Aperol sour. They are tart, mildly sweet, and refreshing. They are an excellent cocktail for sipping before or after a great meal.
Why I Chose Whiskey Instead of Gin
Many Aperol sour recipes call for gin as the secondary liquor. This recipe uses whiskey. I chose whiskey for two reasons. First, whiskey has a rich flavor. It is spicy, smokey, and just a tad sweet. Those flavors are the perfect complement to the bitterness of Aperol. It adds a more complex flavor profile to the cocktail. Second, I just prefer whiskey to gin.
Ingredients for an Aperol Sour
- Lemon juice
- Simple syrup
Homemade Simple Syrup
Simple syrup is one of the best ingredients for adding sweetness to a cocktail. Plus, it’s incredibly SIMPLE to make! See what I did there? Here’s how you do it!
- Add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to a small saucepan.
- Heat the saucepan on medium-low heat. It does not need to boil!
- Continuously stir the water-sugar mixture until all of the sugar dissolves.
- Pour into a glass jar.
- Allow the syrup to cool. Then, place it in the refrigerator.
A homemade simple syrup lasts for about 6 months in the refrigerator. If it starts to appear cloudy, toss it out and make another batch!
This Cocktail Pairs Well With:
- Charcuterie Boards
- Cheeseburger Spring Rolls
- BLT Dip
- Chocolate Covered Popcorn
Since Aperol is an aperitif, this cocktail is meant to be served before or after a meal. The bitterness means it pairs well with bold rich flavors, like savory meat dishes or sharp cheeses. The bitterness also complements a sweet dessert, like chocolate.
How to Make an Aperol Sour
In a cocktail shaker, combine Aperol, whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Add a handful of ice to the cocktail shaker. Then firmly place the top on the shaker. Shake for 30 seconds to a full minute. This combines the cocktail ingredients and chills them.
Strain the cocktail into a coupe glass or an old fashioned glass. Garnish with a lemon peel twist or a lemon slice floating on top. Another fun garnish option is a mandarin slice. The orange color matches the cocktail perfectly.
Can I Make Aperol Sours in Advance?
Yes! Aperol sours are an excellent cocktail to make in advance. Combine all of the ingredients, without ice, and store in an airtight jar or glass bottle until time to serve. You may store Aperol sours in the refrigerator for up to a week. Just keep in time, the flavor profile may change a bit the longer you store it!
Make This Cocktail in Bulk
Since this cocktail stores so nicely, it’s also a great cocktail to make in bulk. Simply multiply the ingredients for one drink by the number of guests you wish to serve. Combine all of the ingredients, without ice, in a large pitcher and store in the refrigerator until it’s time to serve.
More Fun Cocktail Ideas
- 1 cocktail shaker
- Coupe or Old Fashion cocktail glasses
- 6 oz Aperol
- 4 oz whiskey
- 2 oz lemon juice
- 1.5 oz simple syrup
- In a cocktail shaker, combine Aperol, whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
- Add a handful of ice to the shaker.
- Firmly place the top on the shaker.
- Shake for 30 seconds to a full minute.
- Strain the cocktail into a coupe glass or an old fashion glass.
- Garnish with a lemon peel twist or a lemon slice floating on top.