Perfect Aperol Sour Cocktail (Frothy + Delicious)

With its bright, citrusy flavor and enticing foamy top, this Aperol Sour is a light and refreshing cocktail you’ll love! Ready in 5 minutes and perfect for sunny days.

Bright, sunny days call for an Aperol Sour cocktail. It’s a light, refreshing, and botanical drink that’s best enjoyed before a meal. All you need are a few ingredients you can keep on your bar cart at all times, like Aperol, gin, lemon juice (the “sour” in this sour cocktail), orange bitters, and simple syrup. 


What makes this Aperol gin sour extra special is the addition of an egg white. Shaking the cocktail ingredients with a raw egg white creates the signature foamy top and a sensationally smooth mouthfeel. However, if you’d rather have an Aperol sour with no egg, you’re welcome to leave it out.

This easy cocktail has refreshing hints of orange and lip-puckering sour flavors in every sip! The foam creates a gorgeous presentation that can only be improved with a dried orange slice on top.

What is Aperol?

Aperol is a bright orange Italian aperitif with bitter notes of sweet oranges and many other herbs, including rhubarb. The flavor is light and refreshing, while the percentage of alcohol is low (11%). It’s a popular ingredient in many delicious cocktails, including the Aperol Spritz and this Grapefruit Spritz.

What is a sour cocktail?

Sours are timeless cocktails made by mixing liquor, sweetener (like simple syrup), and citrus juice. Fresh citrus juice (usually lemon or lime) is necessary for the distinct sour, tart flavor. Egg whites are often included in some sour cocktails for a foamy top and viscous texture.

Some of the most popular sour cocktails are the whiskey sour, pisco sour, and sidecar.


Ingredients needed

  • Aperol – With the rise of the Aperol Spritz, Aperol has become an easy-to-find aperitif that’s available in most liquor stores. Every sip is bittersweet, with notes of orange and herbs.
  • Gin – Use any brand of gin you already love. This piney, botanical spirit pairs perfectly with the bitter Aperol and bright citrus. Vodka is similar to gin and can be used as a substitute if you aren’t a fan of all of those botanicals.
  • Lemon juice – Or you can use lime juice.
  • Simple syrup – To make your own simple syrup, simmer 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water together until the sugar dissolves. Or, for a flavor twist, try swapping in this Honey Simple Syrup.
  • Orange bitters
  • Egg white – Egg whites have a magical ability to uplift the texture and mouthfeel of cocktails, creating a silky smooth and luscious consistency. You’ll see them in many sour cocktail recipes and fizz cocktails, like this Aviation Gin Fizz. Head to the FAQs section to learn how to make this cocktail without the egg white.
  • Ice 

How to make it

First, dry shake all of the cocktail ingredients in a cocktail shaker for 30 seconds. “Dry shaking”, according to Difford’s Guide, results in foamier, fully emulsified cocktails.

Next, add a handful of ice to the shaker and shake again for 30 seconds.

Strain the cocktail into two chilled rocks or coupe glasses. Garnish with a lemon twist or orange slice and enjoy!

Tips and tricks

  • No cocktail shaker? No problem! Use a sealed mason jar to shake the cocktail.
  • I like to serve this cocktail in a coupe glass, but a rocks glass works just as well.
  • Chill your cocktail glasses! This keeps your cocktail ice-cold as you sip. To do this, pop the glasses in the freezer for at least 30 minutes or fill them with ice water while you make the cocktail, then dump it out before serving.

Recipe variations

  • Instead of Aperol – There are several low-alcohol aperitifs you can use instead, like Luxardo Aperitivo and Lillet Rosé. Use this list of 6 substitutes for Aperol from Vinepair if you need more recommendations.
  • Make it more bitter – If you’re a fan of the bitter notes in Aperol, you’ll probably love Campari too! Campari is very similar to Aperol but this Italian apertif is even more bitter. ℹ️ Read about the differences between Campari and Aperol here.
  • If you don’t have bitters – Orange bitters give this cocktail an unmatched depth. You can leave them out if you don’t have any, but I highly recommend picking up a bottle!
  • Instead of gin – The botanicals in gin balance this cocktail beautifully (it would taste too sweet without it), but you can use vodka as a substitute.
  • Use different citrus juice – Swap the lemon juice for lime juice, grapefruit juice, or orange juice.


What does Aperol taste like?

According to the Aperol website, the bittersweet aperitif is made with a secret list of oranges, herbs, and roots. These woody and citrusy ingredients contribute to its intense flavor, with notes of orange zest, vanilla, and rhubarb.

Can you make it without the egg white?

Yes! If you’re vegan or would rather make the sour without egg whites, substitute 2 teaspoons of aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas) or omit the egg white entirely.

How do you garnish a sour cocktail?

Top the cocktail with a dehydrated lemon or orange wheel or use a fresh lemon twist instead.

What to serve with it?

In Italian tradition, Aperol cocktails are served as an aperitif. Aperitifs are designed to be served before lunch or dinner to excite one’s appetite. 
I like to serve this sour with Italian or Mediterranean-style appetizers, like Olive Tapenade, Crostini Lasagna, Baked Goat Cheese Dip with Crostini, and Prosciutto Wrapped Avocado.
The orange flavor also makes this cocktail a wonderful substitute for mimosas or bellinis at brunch. Sip on the aperitif while enjoying Cream Scones, Ricotta Cake, eggs benedict, and Ricotta Toast.


More gin cocktails

More Aperol cocktails

Did you try this gin Aperol sour?

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Aperol Sour

With its bright, citrusy flavor and enticing foamy top, this Aperol Sour is the light and refreshing cocktail you need in your life! Ready in 5 minutes and perfect for sunny days.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 cocktails



  • Add Aperol, gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, bitters and egg white to a cocktail shaker without ice.
  • Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. (This is the dry shake.)
  • Add a handful of ice to the shaker and continue shaking for 30 seconds.
  • Strain the cocktail between two chilled coupe glasses and garnish with dehydrated lemon or orange wheels, or a fresh lemon twist.


***For an Aperol Sour with no egg, simply omit the egg white OR substitute it with two teaspoons aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas).
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


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Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 38mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 0.04g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg

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