These two bright orange Aperol sour variations follow the classic sour cocktail formula. One, a light and refreshing version, uses only Aperol, lemon juice, and simple syrup. The other is a gin sour variation that uses gin, Aperol, lemon juice, simple syrup, and an egg white to give you a richer, smoother sour cocktail.
You’ll just have to try both to decide which of the Aperol sours you prefer.
About sour cocktails
The sour is a classic cocktail dating back to the 1800s. Its basic formula is two ounces of spirit, three quarters of an ounce of freshly squeezed citrus juice, and three quarters of an ounce of simple syrup. You can make your sour cocktail sweeter or more sour by using a quarter of an ounce more or less of your citrus or simple syrup.
If you only memorize one cocktail recipe, it should be the sour. The formula is used in the most popular cocktails and is easily adaptable to your favorite spirits.
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 popular Porn Star martini is actually a passion fruit sour and not a martini.
There was no egg white in the original sour cocktails, so it’s not required for a cocktail to be a sour. Feel free to omit it in your Aperol sour if you’re worried about food poisoning.
Aperol is an Italian aperitivo like Campari. Aperol tastes only slightly bitter and slightly sweet with herbal and orange flavors. It’s 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 with Aperol, prosecco, and soda water. But Aperol can be used in any cocktail where you might find Campari. The obvious substitution is the Aperol Negroni.
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.
Tips from the wise quacker: never use hot tap water to make your simple syrups or for any other drinks or cooking. Hot water can leach lead and other chemicals from your pipes and fixtures.
Shaking your cocktail
The sour is a shaken cocktail. The general rule is that you should shake any cocktail that has citrus juices to add air bubbles and make it lighter.
Aperol sour without egg white
If you want to make the straight Aperol version or the gin version without egg white, just add your ingredients to your cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain. You can serve this sour 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.
Aperol sour with egg white: the dry shake
If you are making the gin and Aperol cocktail with the egg white, you’ll want to do a dry shake. The dry shake, like in this creamy espresso martini or gin espresso martini, allows you to do a longer shake to create a foamy top without over-diluting your drink by shaking it with ice.
First, add the gin, Aperol, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white to your cocktail shaker without ice. Hold it tight. I like to do dry shakes over my sink just in case. After about 10 to 20 seconds or so, add ice to the shaker, shake again briefly to chill, and strain into your chilled glass.
We don’t know. It’s a super secret recipe supposedly made with “orange, herbs and roots with a touch of vanilla.”
There are effectively four different types of gin. Dry, or London dry gins, are heavy on the juniper. Common examples of dry gins are Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire, and Beefeater.
Liqueurs are actually made with sugar and aren’t labeled from dry to sweet like wines and sparkling wine are, 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, I think it’s fair to say that Aperol is high in sugar and to call it sweet.
If you are concerned about food-borne illness from consuming raw eggs, you can skip the egg white in this Aperol sour. Alternatively, you can use pasteurized egg whites or aquafaba.
Check out the uglyducklingbakery beverage archives for other delicious cocktails like the vodka sour, the Porn Star martini (a passion fruit sour), or two Frangelico sour variations. Or check out other Italian cocktails like the Aperol Negroni, Negroni spritz, or this beautiful cranberry Negroni.
- 1 Cocktail shaker
Aperol sour #1
- 2 ounces Aperol
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- ¾ ounce lemon juice
- lemon twist for garnish
Aperol sour #2
- 1 ounce Aperol
- 1 ounce dry gin e.g. Tanqueray
- ¾ ounce simple syrup
- ¾ ounce lemon juice
- 1 egg white optional
Aperol sour #1
- Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake 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 sour #2 (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 briefly, and strain into a coupe.
If you make one or both of these Aperol sour recipes, please leave a comment and rating. Pretty please.
Love cocktails and want to learn more? Join this year’s 52 weeks of cocktails challenge.
Looking to learn?
Sign up to get recipes full of kitchen tips and tricks.