Aperol Sour: Two Variations

This Aperol Sour is a refreshing cocktail that combines the bitter and sweet flavors of Aperol with the tartness of lemon juice and a touch of of simple syrup. Add in some gin and an egg white foam for a more complex Aperol gin sour.

Regardless of which Aperol variation you make, the result is a zingy cocktail that’s perfect for sipping by the pool or sharing with friends at your next dinner party. So grab your cocktail shaker, jump to the recipe, and let’s go mix it up!

coupe with a bright orange cocktail with foam and lemon twist garnish on two coasters and next to a brass jigger.
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bottle of aperol and tanqueray, copper jigger, lemon, egg, and cup of sugar on a countertop.

These two bright orange Aperol sour recipes follow the classic sour cocktail formula seen in this vodka sour. One sour, a light and refreshing version, uses only Aperol, lemon juice, and simple syrup. The other is a Aperol gin sour variation that uses gin, Aperol, lemon juice, simple syrup, and an egg white to give you a richer, smoother, more sophisticated sour cocktail.


About Aperol

Aperol is an Italian aperitivo like Campari. Aperol is less bitter than Campari and slightly sweeter with herbal and orange flavors. It’s also much lighter than Campari with only 11% alcohol by volume compared to the 24% of Campari.

The classic Aperol cocktail is an Aperol spritz, made in a classic spritz formula using Aperol, prosecco, and soda water. But you can make other Aperol drinks by substituting Aperol in any cocktail where you might find Campari. The obvious substitution is the Aperol Negroni or an Aperol soda.

Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.

two bright orange cocktails. The one in front has an egg white foam. The one in back is on a coaster and has a lemon twist. There is also a lemon, zester, and jigger.

Variations and substitutions

The sour is a classic cocktail made with two ounces of spirit, three quarters of an ounce of freshly squeezed citrus juice, and three quarters of an ounce of simple syrup. If you can remember only one cocktail formula, it should be the sour.

Make your sour sweeter or more sour by using a quarter of an ounce more or less of your citrus or simple syrup. Make it with rum and lime juice, and it’s a daiquiri. Change it to tequila, use orange liqueur instead of sugar syrup, and you have a margarita. Make it with gin and lime, and it’s a gimlet.

You can vary the flavors with different simple syrups, juice, or liqueurs. The cosmo is a vodka sour made with cranberry juice and orange liqueur. The mojito adds soda water. The popular Porn Star martini is actually a passion fruit sour and not a martini.

Recipe tips and tricks

Making simple syrup

Simple syrups are extremely easy to make. Simply (see what I did there?) combine equal amounts of granulated sugar and water in a pot over low heat until the sugar dissolves.

Shaking your cocktail

The sour is a shaken cocktail. Normally I don’t recommend you fuss about shaking your cocktail, but these two sour variations use two different styles of shake!

Tip from the wise quacker: The general teaching is that cocktails with citrus juices should be shaken, but cocktails with only alcohols should be stirred.

Simple aperol sour

For a simple Aperol sour cocktail or the gin version without egg white, add your ingredients to your cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for 10 to 20 seconds to chill and strain.

You can serve this Aperol sour variation straight up in a chilled coupe or in a lowball glass with a large ice cube. Those large ice cubes are slower to melt, so they don’t dilute your drink as much as smaller cubes. Garnish with a lemon twist or dried orange slice.

Aperol gin sour: the dry shake

For an Aperol gin sour with an egg white foam, you’ll do a dry shake. Like in this creamy espresso martini or gin espresso martini, the dry shake allows you to shake longer to create a foamy top for your Aperol gin sour but doesn’t over-dilute your drink.

First, add the gin, Aperol, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white to your cocktail shaker without ice. Hold it tight (I dry shake over my sink just in case). Shake hard for 20 to 30 seconds. Now add a cup of ice to the shaker, shake another 10 to 20 seconds to chill, and strain into your chilled glass.

What to serve with an Aperol sour

Both of these Aperol sours are light and so best sipped on their own or enjoy with a light meal like:

Recipe FAQs

What are the ingredients in Aperol?

We don’t know. Aperol‘s super secret recipe supposedly made with “orange, herbs and roots with a touch of vanilla.”

What is a dry gin?

There are effectively four different types of gin. London dry gins are heavy on the juniper. Common examples of dry gins are Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire, and Beefeater.

Is Aperol sweet or dry?

Liqueurs are actually made with sugar and aren’t labeled from dry to sweet like sparkling wines are labeled based on their residual sugars. But considering that the sweetest wines have over 50 grams of residual sugar per liter, and Aperol has over 300 grams per liter, it’s fair to say that Aperol is sweet.

Will I get sick from drinking raw egg white?

If you are concerned about food-borne illness from consuming raw eggs, you can skip the egg white in this Aperol sour cocktail or use pasteurized egg whites or aquafaba.

Check out the list of Ugly Duckling Bakery cocktails for other delicious drinks inspired by classic Italian cocktails:

Love cocktails and want to explore more? Read all about classic cocktails and bartender basics or join this year’s 52 weeks of cocktails challenge!

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.


Aperol Sour

5 from 1 vote
Category: Drinks
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 219kcal
Check out two delicious Aperol sour variations. Make the light and refreshing Aperol sour for a summer day or add gin for a richer, smoother Aperol gin sour.
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  • 1 Cocktail shaker


Simple Aperol sour

  • 2 ounces Aperol
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • ¾ ounce lemon juice
  • lemon twist for garnish

Aperol gin sour with egg white

  • 1 ounce Aperol
  • 1 ounce dry gin e.g. Tanqueray
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • ¾ ounce lemon juice
  • 1 egg white optional


Simple Aperol sour

  • Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for 20 seconds and strain into a chilled coupe or a rocks glass with a large ice cube.
    2 ounces Aperol, 1 ounce simple syrup, ¾ ounce lemon juice
  • Garnish with the lemon twist.
    lemon twist

Aperol gin sour with egg white

  • Combine all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker without ice. Hold tightly to the shaker and shake for about 20 seconds.
    1 ounce Aperol, ¾ ounce simple syrup, ¾ ounce lemon juice, 1 egg white, 1 ounce dry gin
  • Add ice to the shaker, shake again briefly, and strain into a coupe.


These Aperol sour variations are made using the classic sour cocktail formula. Nutritional estimates are presented for the Aperol gin sour variation.
To make a simple syrup, simply combine equal amounts of sugar and water in a pot and heat over low until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool before using.
If making the Aperol gin sour variation with egg white, doing the dry shake first allows you to create a foamy top without over-diluting your cocktail. I suggest doing this dry shake over the sink, because it can get messy!


Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg
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