‘Tis the season for making fun cocktails, and this Aperol Sour cocktail recipe is no exception when it comes to fun. It’s bright pink, well balanced, and has a smooth, velvety texture.
You could consider this a Gin Aperol Sour, because I do use about a shot of London Dry gin in this recipe. Aperol on its own is delicious, but the gin really rounds out the drink and makes it even better! This recipe makes two cocktails and comes together in under five minutes.
Aperol Sour Ingredients
- 3 oz. Aperol*
- 1.5 oz. Gin (preferably London Dry style)
- 1.5 oz. Simple Syrup**
- ½ oz. Orange Juice
- 1 oz. Lemon Juice
- 1 Egg White***
*Aperol can be substituted with Contratto Aperitif, which is actually made with more natural ingredients (but can be harder to find).
**Simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water. I combine 1/4 cup of sugar with 1/4 cup of very hot water in a small mason jar, tightly secure the lid, and shake for about 30 seconds until the sugar is mostly dissolved. It will last in the refrigerator for up to two weeks!
***Egg white is necessary to create the smooth, velvety texture of this Aperol Sour cocktail. If you prefer to omit it, that is totally fine. See my notes below about making an Aperol Sour without egg white, too!
What is a Sour Cocktail?
“Sours” are a specific formula for cocktails that are made up of a liquor base (like gin and Aperol for this recipe), an acidic element (usually a freshly squeezed citrus juice), and a sweetening element (like simple syrup).
What is Aperol?
Aperol is a bright orange / pink Italian liqueur that has an interesting combination of bitter, citrus-y (mainly orange), and herbal notes. It is considered an “aperitif”, or a before dinner drink. I think Aperol is a great mixer for so many cocktails, and I really love it in this slightly bitter Winter Jasmine Cocktail or this Paper Plane Cocktail, too! However, there are substitutes for Aperol (like I mentioned after the ingredients list). Contratto Aperitif is a wonderful substitution, and is actually much more natural than Aperol, as it is sweetened with sugar and colored with carrot and beetroot extracts. (And it’s delicious!).
How to Make Simple Syrup
The easiest way to make simple syrup is to combine equal parts sugar and water in a small sauce pan over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. I make small batches of simple syrup (because I don’t use it for anything but a couple of cocktails a week), and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week.
If you want to make a larger batch of simple syrup and store it for a longer period of time, stir about a teaspoon of vodka into it before storing it. This will extend its lifespan to about 3-4 weeks if kept in the refrigerator!
Avoid . You could also heat water in a kettle (or use the hot water from your coffee or espresso maker), pour it into a jar with the sugar, and shake until the sugar dissolves. Be sure to have a kitchen towel handy to wrap around the jar before shaking it – the hot water can really hurt if you don’t have a barrier between your hand and the jar! If you use this method, avoid using hot water from the tap, as it can carry contaminants from the pipes directly into your simple syrup.
Can I Make an Aperol Sour with No Egg?
Absolutely yes. You have two options for this:
- Omit the egg white entirely. The texture will be different (it won’t be as smooth and silky, and there won’t be much foam on top), but the flavors will still be wonderful.
- Substitute the egg white with two teaspoons of aquafaba. Aquafaba is just the liquid from a can of chickpeas, and is a perfect vegan substitute for egg white in cocktails! In my experience, you don’t need to whip the liquid first. Just take it straight from the can of chickpeas and use it for your cocktails. It may smell odd in the can, but it won’t affect the flavor of your drinks!
Do I really need Fresh Citrus?
I highly recommend using fresh lemon and oranges for this cocktail! For any cocktail recipe that requires citrus juice, fresh is always the best option. The taste alone makes your drink so much better, plus you know that there aren’t any preservatives or weird ingredients going into it! But truly, based on taste alone, yes. Fresh citrus is totally a must if you want to make the best cocktails at home.
How to Make an Aperol Sour
- Chill two coupe glasses (or your preferred glass) for about 5 minutes in the freezer prior to using.
- Pour all of the ingredients (including the egg white) into an empty cocktail shaker. Secure the lid, and dry shake the ingredients for about 20 seconds.*
- Remove the lid and fill the cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Secure the lid and shake for another 20 seconds.
- Strain the cocktail, dividing it between the chilled coupe glasses.
- Garnish with a dehydrated lemon or orange wheel, or a lemon twist.
*What is a dry shake?
A “dry shake” refers to shaking the cocktail ingredients together without ice. You’ll typically see a dry shake method used in cocktails with egg whites included in the ingredients; shaking everything with the egg white before adding ice helps the egg whites emulsify and create that silky texture in cocktails.
Other Awesome Cocktail Recipes to Try
- Winter Jasmine Cocktail (with Aperol and gin)
- Paper Plane Cocktail (with Aperol and bourbon)
- Eastside Cocktail (with gin, cucumber, mint, and lime)
- Witty Comeback (Rye and Amaro Cocktail)
- Blackberry Bramble Cocktail Recipe (with gin and blackberry liqueur)
- Man O’ War Bourbon Cocktail with Luxardo Cherry Juice (and bourbon)
I hope you love this cocktail as much as I do! If you make it and love it, a comment and recipe rating below would be awesome. As always, feel free to reach out to me via email with any questions, and follow me on Instagram for more cocktail and small batch recipes!
Aperol Sour Cocktail
- 1 Cocktail Shaker
- 2 Coupe Glasses chilled
- 3 oz. Aperol or Contratto Aperitif
- 1.5 oz. Gin preferably London Dry style
- 1.5 oz. Simple Syrup* recipe in notes*
- 1 oz. fresh Lemon Juice
- .5 oz. fresh Orange Juice
- 1 Egg White**
- Combine all ingredients in a dry cocktail shaker. Secure the lid and shake vigorously for about 20 seconds. (This is a "dry shake" without ice.)
- Fill the shaker halfway with ice. Secure the lid and shake vigorously for another 20 seconds.
- Strain the cocktail between two chilled coupe glasses and garnish with dehydrated lemon or orange wheels, or a fresh lemon twist.