We are in the middle of those golden autumn weeks, where the days dawn bright and sunny, the early fog burning off quickly under the sun. The woods are full of giant, brightly coloured mushrooms and toadstools, tucked away under the falling leaves. While the nights are already too cool to sit outside for long, it’s the ideal time for afternoon sundowners on the balcony, and what could be better than a refreshing Hugo Spritz Cocktail?
The Hugo has taken Europe by storm over the last ten years or so, nearly knocking the beloved Aperol spritz from the throne as the most popular afternoon drink. It’s easy to see why, as this winning combination of elderflower, mint, lime and prosecco is so light and refreshing that it slips down almost too easily. It’s an ideal aperitif and a great party starter.
Of course, part the success of this sort of cocktail is that they are so easy to make. Ice, elderflower syrup, mint and lime into a large wine glass, topped up with prosecco and soda and you are good to go. This is the perfect party drink as it is such an agreeable flavour combination that everybody will love them.
If you like you can up the ante a little by swapping out the elderflower syrup with an elderflower liqueur like St Germain. It is expensive though, so I prefer to keep things cheap and cheerful. You’ll see recipes floating around suggesting you use champagne for these, but that’s completely unnecessary. The toasted, yeasty flavour of great champagne is altogether at odds with the light, floral flavours of the Hugo spritz. A dry prosecco, cava, or other sparkling wine is a much better choice.
Have you tried the famous Hugo before? For many people, these refreshing spritz cocktails will bring back happy memories of summer holidays in Europe. Take care out there and cheers! xJ
Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!
- 30ml elderflower syrup, or to taste
- juice of 1 lime
- a few sprigs of fresh mint
- 400ml prosecco or dry sparkling wine
- 200ml soda water
- lime wedges, to serve
- Fill two large ‘bucket-style’ wine glasses ice. Divide the elderflower syrup and lime juice between the glasses, then crush the mint gently with your hands to release the fragrant oils.
- Add the mint to the glasses, then pour over the prosecco and soda water. Top with lime wedges and stir gently to combine. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 273Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 41mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where can I find elderflower syrup?
In Europe, it is available at any good supermarket. If you can’t track it down at the supermarket where you are, the food hall or grocery section of a decent department store is a good bet. If all else fails, then it is always available at the usual online retailers.
Can I make a Hugo Spritz mocktail, or alcohol-free?
Of course! Just use sparkling grape juice or alcohol-free sparkling wine instead. You might need to add a bit more lime juice to combat the sweetness.
Can I prepare Hugo Spritz Cocktails in advance?
Absolutely, though they are quick enough to make on the go. I would simply prepare a jug or pitcher with the syrup, and lime juice, then top up with the mint, prosecco and soda just before serving. Don’t leave lime wedges lying around in the mixture, they go bitter over time.