The Hugo Spritz is a refreshing and effervescent cocktail with hints of elderflower, lime, and mint that is so delicate and versatile, it makes the perfect aperitivo to any meal.
Hugo Spritz, welcome to our curated cocktail anthology
If you've spent any amount of time looking at our site, you know that our collection of drink recipes includes some that are original, but there are many that are not.
We want to be your one-stop-shop for recipes and that is why we've curated a cocktail anthology that includes some "tried and true" recipes. Especially ones that hail from the Italian peninsula, like this Hugo cocktail recipe.
The Hugo Spritz, or Spritz Hugo, is one that is still young enough to be modern, but old enough to have been tested, approved, and loved by many.
What is a Hugo Spritz?
In 2005, Roland Gruber created an alternative spritz cocktail at his bar in the small Alpine town of Naturno, Italy, just south of the Austrian border.
Inspired by the Elder trees that grow abundantly in the Alps, he combined elderflower syrup, prosecco, mint and sparkling water and the Spritz Hugo cocktail was born.
We use elderflower liqueur and lime in our recipe, but this slight variation has minimal impact on the integrity of the drink.
What is elderflower?
Elderflower is the flower that blooms on the Elder tree, which is also well known for the berries it bears, elderberries, which are often used for their medicinal properties.
Elderflower has become a bit more popular over the past year as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's wedding cake combined the flavors of lemon and elderflower.
When to serve a Hugo Spritz cocktail?
As stated above, this drink is so versatile, it really could be served before any meal, even brunch. It is light, and not overly alcoholic.
Consider serving it as an aperitivo before any of the following:
- Semolina French Toast with Lemon and Blueberries
- Spaghetti Carbonara
- Italian Sausage Pasta
- Salsa Di Noci, or Walnut Sauce
- Porchetta Roast
This is definitely a drink you can make in bulk to serve a crowd. Just serve from a pitcher or punch bowl and you're set!
And, speaking of crowd-pleasers, make sure to add this limoncello spritz to your list! It's another great spritz type recipe that's perfect for summertime gatherings!
How to make the Hugo Cocktail
First, you'll need to gather your ingredients: Prosecco, elderflower liqueur such as St. Germain or St. Elder, sparkling water/seltzer, mint leaves, ice, and lime for garnish.
We did use lime flavored seltzer, but plain sparkling water would be fine as well, and probably what was used to make the very first Spritz Hugo.
The tools we used for this Hugo drink recipe included a measuring jigger, measuring spoon, stemless wine glasses, and stirrer.
Begin by adding ice to your wine glass. Then tear some mint leaves and place them in the glass. Before you tear them, give them a pound in your hand to release their flavor.
Then, add the elderflower liqueur.
Measure about 2 oz of sparkling water or seltzer and add to the glass.
Add your lime slices and fill to the top with prosecco.
Give the drink a gentle stir and serve immediately.
This simple recipe is definitely easy and requires little to no effort. In fact, the hardest part might be uncorking the prosecco!
What I love most about the Hugo Spritz is that while it's refreshing, its taste is anything but simple, and the elderflower adds a bit of mystique.
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- 2 Tbsp Elderflower liqueur, such as St. Germain or St. Elder
- 2 oz Seltzer or sparkling water
- 6 oz Prosecco
- 3 slices lime
- 6 leaves mint
- 4 cubes ice
- Fill glass with ice. Tear and place mint leaves into glass.
- Add 2 Tablespoons elderflower liqueur, 2 ounces sparkling water or seltzer and lime slices.
- Fill glass to top with prosecco and give a gentle stir. Enjoy!
- Adjust the amount of Elderflower liqueur based on the size of your glass and your taste.
- We approximated 6 oz of Prosecco, but really just fill the glass to the top. The amount can vary depending on your glass.
- Add as much mint and lime slices as you desire!
I love this! I have to make a cocktail (or two) to go with a menu of spring lamb dishes. Do you think this would work to go with it?
Hi Valentina, I would say have this one before the meal as a pre dinner drink. I'm hard pressed to think of a better pairing for lamb than a nice red wine like Shiraz.
Sound like a plan! Thank you!
I Made this recipe exact but it seemed like something f was missing g compared to the ones we had in Europe. This drink was not as sweet. Would tonic water work instead of soda water? Or is there an elderflower syrup vs liquor?
Hi Eileen - thank you for your comment. Yes, as mentioned above in the post, the original drink was made using elderflower syrup instead of the liqueur so yes, you can definitely try it with the syrup and adjust for how sweet you like it. I would probably not use tonic water as it has a very distinct taste and may change the flavor of the drink, but feel free to experiment!
Crisp and effervescent
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.
How do I adjust recipe for a crowd? Please help!
Hi. If you hover over the recipe card servings information on your computer there is a slider that adjusts servings and will adjust all ingredients accordingly. It works on your phone too. For example, a full bottle of prosecco (750 ml) will be enough for 4 servings.
Hi! I love Hugo spritzes, in Italy we use elderflower syrup which can be found just about everywhere, in supermarkets! Thx for sharing this drink ‘news’.
Hi Graziella, thank you for your comment and happy you enjoyed the post!
Loved this - it's so refreshing! For some reason mint is hard to find in local groceries, but the drink is fine without it.
Hi Fran, thanks for your comment and so happy you liked this one!
I enjoy Jim’s YouTube channel, so I was glad to see this pop up when I searched for a recipe for a Hugo cocktail!
My wife’s version of this is Gin, elderflower syrup (available at ikea), Prosecco, mint leaves and club soda. I’m usually the cook and bartender, but she’s got this one down better than I can do.
A great drink for a hot summer afternoon!
Hi Glenn, thanks so much for watching and I really appreciate the comment!
Forgot to fill in my rating