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July 29, 2021

Hugo Cocktail || Simple and Refreshing

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Two large wine glasses filled with a Hugo Cocktail garnished with mint and lime

Hugo Cocktail || Simple and Refreshing

A Hugo Cocktail is the most refreshing, simple Summer cocktail inspired by northern Italy.  Fresh mint, elderflower, lime, and Prosecco make this a perfect drink recipe you’ll sip well into Fall!

Is there anything more refreshing than the combination of refresh mint, lime, Prosecco with hints of elderflower?  I’ll take two, please! 

Although we are unable to travel to northern Italy this year, the Hugo Cocktail, also commonly known as the Hugo Spritz, is the perfect poolside cocktail that will have you dreaming of sandy beaches abroad.  Even better, this simple Summer elderflower spritz is really simple to pull together.  

A tall bottle of St. Elder Elderflower Liqueur for a Hugo Cocktail recipe

WHAT IS A HUGO COCKTAIL?

According to Mixology magazine, the Hugo Cocktail was created in 2005 in the Italian town of Naturno by local bartender Roland Gruber. It was created as an alternative to the more familiar Aperol Spritz and White Wine Spritzer. 

Since then, the Hugo Spritz has become an increasingly popular Summer drink throughout South Tyrol and into Austria and Germany.

Inspired by the Elder trees that grow abundantly in the Alps, Roland Gruber combined elderflower syrup, fresh mint, sparkling water, and Prosecco, the Hugo Spritz cocktail was born.

The combination of these fresh ingredients will kick off your aperitivo hour in true style.

To amp up this easy elderflower spritz cocktail, we use either St. Germain or St. Elder, an elderflower liqueur, as opposed to elderflower syrup. Trust me, it’s a great choice! 

St. Elder’s line of artisanal liqueurs is perfect for any cocktail. Crafted in small batches from an extract of fresh elderflower blossoms, St. Elder Liqueur livens up every cocktail with notes of sweet citrus and floral honey.

Two large wine glasses filled with a Hugo Cocktail garnished with mint and lime

WHAT IS ELDERFLOWER LIQUEUR?

Elderflower liqueur is made from the small, white flowers of the elderflower bush. In Europe, the flower is used in many foods and drinks, but in the U.S. it’s gaining popularity in the form of this liqueur.

These white blossoms are often handpicked and the liqueur is made with no preservatives or stabilizers.  It’s recommended to use your elderflower within the first 6 months for the best possible flavors.  

It’s important to note, elderflower liqueur is not the same as elderflower syrup or elderflower cordial.

WHAT IS THE BEST SUBSTITUTE FOR ELDERFLOWER LIQUEUR?

Because elderflower is fairly sweet, you can often substitute it with other sweeteners such as maple or simple syrup.  Alternately you could select a different floral flavor profile such as Rose or Violet Liqueur.  For a flavor variation, use Grand Marnier which provides a sweet-orange flavor.

A bottle of St. Elder elderflower liqueur

WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE A HUGO COCKTAIL

  • ELDERFLOWER LIQUEUR – As we mentioned above, we like to use St. Germain or St. Elder liqueur as opposed to elderflower syrup.  Feel free to use either – they both taste fantastic!  
  • FRESH MINT LEAVES – Fresh mint leaves are a key ingredient in this Hugo Spritz cocktail.  You can either drop a few mint leaves into the glass or for even an even more rich flavor profile, we recommend muddling the mint in the bottom of your wine glass before adding ice and the remaining cocktail ingredients.  
  • LIME WEDGE – We love to add 2-3 lime wedges to the glass and squeeze a small wedge into the glass.  Feel free to only use it as a garnish if preferred. 
  • ORANGE SLICES – I always add an orange slice or two to my Hugo drink recipe, as well.  The orange flavor pairs so well with the lime and mint.  Feel free to omit if preferred. 
  • PROSECCO – We used La Marca Prosecco for this Hugo drink recipe, but feel free to use any brand you might like. 
  • SODA WATER – Here’s where this spritz cocktail can be 100% personalized.  Choose a simple club soda, sparkling water, sparkling wine, OR choose flavored sparkling water like Sanpellegrino Blood Orange.

One large wine glass filled with a Hugo Cocktail garnished with mint and lime

HOW TO MAKE A HUGO COCKTAIL

To make a Hugo Spritz Cocktail, muddle mint leaves in the bottom of a large wine glass then add ice cubes.  

Next, pour an ounce of St. Germaine or St. Elder over the ice, add lime wedges and a few orange slices to the sides of the glass.  

Top the spritz cocktail with a splash of sparkling water or soda water and fill the remaining glass with chilled Prosecco.  Stir all of the ingredients together and serve with a garnish of mint, lime wedge, and an orange slice.  Serve on a warm summer day and enjoy!

LOOKING FOR OTHER DELICIOUS COCKTAIL RECIPES?  HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF OUR FAVORITES:

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Hugo Cocktail

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A Hugo Cocktail is the mostrefreshing, simple Summer cocktail inspired by northern Italy.  Freshmint, elderflower, lime, and Prosecco make this a perfect drink recipe you'llsip well into Fall!
SERVES/MAKES: 1 cocktail
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce Elderflower Liqueur
  • 1 ounce sparking water or soda water
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • lime wedges (garnish)
  • orange slides (garnish, optional)
  • handful of mint leaves
  • Prosecco (about 4 ounces)
  • ice cubes

Instructions:

  • Muddle a hanful of mint leaves in the bottom ofa large wine glass then add ice cubes.  
  • Next, pour an ounce of St. Germaineor St. Elder over the ice, add lime wedges and a few orange slices to the sidesof the glass.  
  • Topthe spritz cocktail with a splash of sparkling water or soda water and fill theremaining glass with chilled Prosecco.
  • Stir all of the ingredients togetherand serve with a garnish of mint, lime wedge, and an orange slice.  Serveon a warm summer day and enjoy!

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