The Drink For Aperol Spritz Lovers Craving A Tart Sip

If there's one Italian contribution to the world of cocktails that stands out, then it's definitely Aperol. This vibrant orange apéritif, known for its citrusy taste blending with complex bitter herbal notes, has been a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts and mixologists worldwide since its creation in 1919. The Aperol Spritz, its flagship recipe, is adored for its refreshing zest, accompanied by a pleasantly bitter finish.

But as nice as it is, there are only so many Aperol Spritzes you can drink before it gets old. So, if you're looking to mix things up a bit, give the Rhubarb Spritz a try! Similar to most Spritz cocktails, the Rhubarb Spritz also comprises three main elements: the bitter, prosecco, and soda. In the case of the Rhubarb Spritz, the role of the bitter is played by rhubarb syrup, the key ingredient that imparts a distinct tart and tangy flavor to the cocktail. Then, prosecco and club soda are added to improve the cocktail's zestiness and give it the fizzy quality that all Spritzes are known for. Some Rhubarb Spritz recipes even went so far as mixing rhubarb syrup with a dash of Aperol to further enhance the flavor.

While not as widely known as the Aperol Spritz, this refreshing rhubarb-infused cocktail will make for a delightful alternative on the rare days that the citrusy taste of Aperol gets old. The tartness from the rhubarb syrup, when mixed in as a Spritz, can really switch up the tasting experience!

What's the difference between rhubarb syrup and Aperol?

The main differences between rhubarb syrup and Aperol lie in their color, taste, and alcohol content. Rhubarb syrup maintains a reddish hue from the natural coloration of the rhubarb plant, while Aperol, blended with bitter orange, takes on a more orange hue. This is why an Aperol Spritz cocktail will have a deep orange color, while a Rhubarb Spritz leans towards a purplish shade.

Where the two ingredients differ the most is in the taste department. Both rhubarb syrup and Aperol share the rhubarb plant as a common ingredient, which gives them their delightful tartness. However, Aperol, with its addition of bitter orange, herbs, and roots, has a less pronounced tartness, offering a citrusy, bittersweet flavor with a hint of vanilla. In contrast, rhubarb syrup lives up to its name, delivering a bold and sharp tartness on the palate.

Lastly, Aperol — being an apéritif — is alcoholic straight from out the bottle with an alcohol content of around 22 proof (11% ABV). On the other hand, rhubarb syrup is alcohol-free, being essentially chopped rhubarb boiled in sugary water. That's why in order to create a Rhubarb Spritz, you'll need to add a separate alcohol component, which will differ depending on the recipe, but we've seen vodka, gin, and even elderflower liqueurs added!