Salt & Wind Travel

{Hugo Spritz Cocktail} The White Spritz Recipe

Say “ciao” to the Hugo spritz cocktail! Pronounced the “uuu-go sp-ree-tzh” and also known as the white spritz, this Italian cocktail is a twist on the red-hued Aperol Spritz. 

If you look on social media, you’ll see this drink has become the 2023 drink of the summer in the USA, but it has long been beloved in Europe. If you travel anywhere near the Alps in the summertime — say to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, or Italy — you will find this summer cocktail regularly appears on bar menus. 

Though I have traveled a lot in Northern Italy, I first encountered this drink on the Amalfi coast in the charming hillside town of Ravello. I spent a lazy day enjoying the stunning Belmond Hotel Caruso, getting lost on the property, admiring the stunning views, and having some perfect summery poolside time. But the one thing that has stuck with me was this twist on a White Wine Spritzer concocted by the hotel’s head barman, Danilo.

Where Is The Hugo Cocktail From?

If you’re wondering “who invented the Hugo Spritz,” we’ve got you. According to Diffords Guide, this original recipe was created in 2005 by Roland Gruber at Bar Sanzeno in the South Tyrol region of Italy. The cocktail initially gained popularity in Europe when Gruber bartended in Switzerland, and the locals took to the drink. The cocktail initially went by a different name and didn’t use elderflower syrup but rather lemon balm, but it eventually evolved into the drink we know today.

What Is A Hugo Drink Made Of?

As for the flavor, this drink is nicely balanced with citrus notes, a bit of herb, a slight sweetness, and a slight booziness. The cocktail is a proper aperitif in that it’s effervescent and very light on alcohol (aka low-abv), so it’s the kind of drink you can sip to refresh from the midsummer heat. 

This easy-to-make cocktail was classically made with just a few ingredients: elderflower syrup, Prosecco, a mint sprig, lime slices, sparkling water, and ice. The classic Spritz Al Bitter (aka the Spritz Veneziano) is made with sparkling water, sparkling wine, and red bitter liqueur and is best known to Americans as a Campari Spritz or an Aperol Spritz. On the other hand, this beverage is lighter, has no bitterness, and is a touch sweeter. 

We asked Danilo for his recipe and are sharing it here. It calls for St-Germain elderflower liqueur and adds more herbs and citrus, but it is a Hugo Cocktail.

Citrus slice being added to a cocktail glass
Hugo Cocktail with citrus slices and mint in a wine glass
Picture of a cocktail with citrus slices and herbs with ingredients on a table

Steps To Make Hugo Cocktail

Even though this is a very easy cocktail, there are still a few ways to make it. The way we make it here is as follows: 

  • Muddle the mint with the St-Germain in the bottom of a large wine glass
  • Add in the ice and the citrus.
  • Pour in the Prosecco and soda water and stir to combine
  • Top with a bunch of herbs and serve.

Tips To Make The Hugo Cocktail

This cocktail is so easy to make that you don’t need many tips. Even so, here are a few:

  • I’d highly recommend a bigger bowl wine glass so that you can put in a lot of citrus and herb and still be able to drink it. 
  • Feel free to alter the amount of St-Germain to your taste — some recipes call for twice the amount used here.
  • It’s easiest to drink with a straw, so include that. 
  • And finally, use cubes of ice over standard ice cubes as they’ll melt slower and won’t water down the drink as much!

Other Spritz Cocktails To Try

If you’ve hung around here, you know we like many a wine spritzer because they’re easy to make, low alcohol, and refreshing. Here are a few others to try:

Final Hugo Cocktail Recipe

{The Hugo Cocktail} The White Spritz Recipe

This white spritz is a twist on the classic Spritz Veneziano (made with Aperol) that is said to have originated at Bar Sanzeno in the South Tyrol region. Also known as The Hugo Cocktail, this drink is made with elderflower liqueur, Prosecco, herbs, citrus, and sparkling water.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 serving
Calories 65 kcal


  • 1/2 ounce St. Germain liqueur
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 slice orange
  • Lemon peel
  • 4 ounces chilled Prosecco
  • 1 ounce Chilled club soda or seltzer water
  • Sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 slice lime


  • Make The Hugo Cocktail: Combine the leaves of one sprig of mint and the St. Germain in the bottom of a wine glass and muddle to lightly break up the mint. Fill the glass with ice then tuck in the citrus slices and lemon peel. Add the Prosecco first then soda water and stir briefly to combine. Garnish with herbs and serve immediately.



Serving: 1 servingCalories: 65kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 0.4gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.02gSodium: 9mgPotassium: 148mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 201IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Aperitivo, Fancy cocktail, Fancy drink
Tried this recipe?Mention @saltandwind or tag #swsociety!

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