What’s The Best Aperol Substitute? Our Ultimate Guide!

As the weather heats up, we’re all heading to the bar during the hot days or preparing our own cocktails, looking for boozy iced drinks to perk us up.

That’s one of the many reasons why you can find Aperol, an extremely popular part of bars, restaurants, and homes!

But what happens when you don’t have the Aperol for your classic cocktail recipes?

Short Answer: 

You can try Camoari, Select Aperitivo, Luxardo Aperitivo, Cappelletti, Galliano L'Aeritivo or Other Herber Liquid... as a great alternative for Aperol in any recipes.

We’ve got you with our favorite alternatives suitable for many cocktail recipes!

What’s Aperol, Anyway?

image of a good substitute for Aperol

This is an Italian liqueur made of bitter and sweet oranges, rhubarb, roots, and herbs for those unfamiliar with Aperol. (*)

Fun fact: 

Aperol comes from northern Italy and contains only an 11% alcohol content! The original Aperol was born in 1919 by the Barbieri brothers Luigi and Silvio Barbieri.

You probably know Aperol from the infamous Aperol spritz, one of the most famous cocktails worldwide. However, Aperol is also a favorite ingredient in other favored cocktails too.

So, if you have none of this liqueur at home, here are the other alternatives to use for like substitutions:

Top Seven Alternatives To Aperol [Including Non-Alcoholic]

1. Campari

image of Can you use Campari instead of Aperol

Can you use Campari instead of Aperol? Yes, Campari is one of the best substitutes for Aperol, and for a great reason.

It is an aperitif with a crimson red color, known for its bittersweet flavor.

Expect underlying flavors of rhubarb, clove, cinnamon, cherry, cinnamon, orange peel, and cascarilla.

However, it has a higher alcohol content and is much bitter than Campari.

It’s great to use as a substitute if you want more of a kick in your spritz than a brunch or early-evening drink.

Fun fact: 

Apero stands for an aperitif in French. Both Campari and Aperol are considered an aperitif from northern Italy!

2. Select Aperitivo

This is a Venetian Aperitivo that’s kept the same recipe for over 100 years. This combines 30 botanicals to give the drink a rich and complex flavor.

There’s a bitter note from the rhubarb, while junipers add a fresh and piney undertone.

Expect a lot of flowers and herbs to its aroma with a pink grapefruit finish.

While it’s a bit stronger than Aperol, it works well when using it with a three-two-one mix.

This drink is generally served with an orange slice for the authentic Venetian garnish.

We recommend lemon as well if you’re up for something different!

3. Luxardo Aperitivo

This is a Maraschino liqueur and the closest substitute for Aperol.

What makes it interesting is its orange flavor, even if Luxardo is known for having one of the most iconic cocktail cherries!

It’s Pepsi to Aperol’s Coke, so you get that refreshingly familiar spritz with orange Sunkist aromas.

You also get orange and bittersweet grapefruit flavors, though this maraschino liqueur is less sweet than Aperol.

For those who appreciate the citrus notes in their spritz, then Luxardo’s straw-covered bottles are the way to go!

4. Cappelletti

This is made with Trebbiano wine as the base, so expect it to have a juicy and fruity character.

It has a slightly higher alcohol content than Aperol, so you have the boozy kick.

To lessen the booze, just add a bit more soda water.

Also, garnish your Aperol spritz with a few slices of lemon or like with this substitute!

5. Galliano L’Aeritivo or Other Herbal Liqueurs

This liqueur is more comparable to Campari than Aperol, but we love it for the interestingly nuanced spritz it has.

It’s great if you like your Aperol spritz with that bitter kick!

When creating Aperol spritz with this, we like garnishing our drinks with a lime wedge and sprig of fresh mint.

Besides this fresh liqueur, we also recommend other herbal liqueurs made of various fruits and botanicals, like fernet Branca negroni, among others.

Fun fact: 

If you want a non-alcoholic substitute, we recommend non-alcoholic aperitz and cocktails, which you can find in online stores or your supermarket.

6. Lillet

Lillet is a French (not Italian) flavored and fortified wine. (*)

It won’t reach the sweet or bitter flavors of Aperol, but it still does a great job of being a refreshing and versatile spritz.

Lillet blanc is typified with grape and white flower notes.

Lillet Rose is fruitier with honey and peach with stone fruit and orange flavors. If you want Lillet rouge, we recommend having a berry garnish to go with your drink.

You can also try using prosecco or vermouth if you want another kind of wine.

Learn more:

7. Maraschino Cherry Syrup

Maraschino cherry syrup is an excellent substitute if you’re in a pinch. If you’re familiar with candied maraschino cherries, these are preserved in sugar syrup, which then turns into maraschino cherry syrup!

If you have nothing else at home but cherries, strain your cherries, using the syrup as the Grenadine substitute. You can then use the cherries to garnish your desserts or cocktails.

Remember that maraschino cherry syrup is a tad thicker than Aperol, but you can fix this by adding some simple syrup or water.

We recommend using water rather than syrup since it’s already on the sweeter side. While maraschino cherry syrup isn’t the absolute best substitute, it’s definitely not the worst!

While it’s very sweet and has a more maraschino cherry taste than pomegranate, the sweetness and flavor difference may suit your recipes calling for Aperol.

We recommend using this syrup in cooking or classic cocktail recipes, including melons, lemons, oranges, or stone fruits. The syrup works great in recipes that pair well with cherries, such as autumn spices or savory herbs.

As for desserts or drinks, you can pair maraschino cherry syrup with vanilla, chocolate, and caramel, along with crème Fraiche and mascarpone.

Frequently Asked Questions

For those who still have general wonderments about Aperol and any of their substitutes, we answer your burning questions below:

Wrapping It Up

Whether you’re making baked goods, savory recipes, or your favorite cocktail, experiment with the ingredients mentioned above and let us know what you think.

image of aperol substitute

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