Bourbon Aperol Cocktail Recipe

This bourbon Aperol cocktail recipe is delicious all year long. This easy drink combines bourbon, Aperol, and fresh lemon juice. Top it off with sparkling mineral water to smooth out the flavor and it’s a refreshing cocktail for any party.

bourbon aperol cocktail recipe

Bourbon and Aperol cocktail recipe

There’s more to this liqueur than just the popular Aperol spritz with prosecco. This Italian aperitif can give any base liquor a unique depth of flavor for a delicious cocktail.

I was inspired by a drink called the Paper Plane. It has similar ingredients but calls for Amaro, which I didn’t want to add to my bar right now. Enter this bourbon Aperol cocktail recipe that’s on repeat all summer.

The sweetness of the bourbon is balanced by the bitter qualities of the Aperol. Then fresh lemon juice wakes up the cocktail, and a few ounces of Pellegrino gives it a smooth effervescent finish. 

If you like the Aperol spritz and want to expand your list of drinks with Aperol, then you should definitely give this bourbon cocktail a try.

Aperol cocktails overhead view with lemons

What is Aperol?

As I mentioned above, Aperol is an Italian aperitif which means “to stimulate the appetite.” It’s made with rhubarb, oranges, and many herbs and roots. The recipe is a secret that hasn’t changed since 1919.

What does it taste like?

Aperol has an interesting taste. When it first hits the tongue it’s sweet with orange notes. But then it finishes with a complex variety of herbs and a bitter after taste. A little goes a long way. That’s why it’s a good match for bourbon – the balance of sweet and bitter.

How long does it last in the fridge?

Once you’ve opened the bottle you should store it in the refrigerator. According to an article in Self, it’s good for about 3 months. However, I will tell you that I did keep a bottle in the coldest part of the refrigerator for nearly a year and it was fine to drink. So use your best judgement.

lemons on silver tray

Aperol vs. Campari

Although they are similar, Aperol has a lower alcohol content (11%) than Campari (24%). They have the same sugar content, but Aperol tastes less bitter and Campari is darker in color.

Easy cocktail for parties at home

This cocktail is ideal for serving at happy hour or pre-dinner drinks. It’s quick and easy to make and goes great with party food.

bourbon cocktails with Aperol and lemon

How to make it

You only need four simple ingredients for this cocktail recipe. Bourbon is a bar staple, and Aperol has become a must-have as well. Keep a bowl of lemons in the fridge and a stash of Pellegrino and you can make this any time the mood strikes.

  1. Just use equal parts bourbon and Aperol, and add to a short glass filled with ice.
  2. Add fresh squeezed lemon juice, and strain the seeds.
  3. Then top it off with chilled sparkling mineral water. 
  4. Give it a stir and garnish with lemon or orange peel.

More drinks with bourbon

Try these other tasty drinks that use bourbon as an ingredient.

Aperol cocktail recipes

Try these other recipes using Aperol.

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Aperol and bourbon cocktail recipe

Bourbon Aperol Cocktail recipe

Yield: 2 drinks
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

A refreshing drink with Aperol and bourbon. Enjoy this cocktail for happy hour or an aperitif.


  • 4 oz bourbon
  • 4 oz Aperol
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 4-6 oz sparkling mineral water (Pellegrino)


  1. Add bourbon and Aperol into a glass over ice.
  2. Squeeze in fresh lemon juice
  3. Top with sparkling mineral water and give a quick stir to combine.

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