I Tried the Viral Method of Making Aperol Spritz Sangria in a French Press and It’s My Happy Hour Go-To

published Jul 16, 2023
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Someone pouring Aperol into a french press to make an Aperol spritz sangria
Credit: Sarah Beling

Whether you’re Aperol spritz curious, Aperol spritz skeptical, or someone who just wants to drink an Aperol spritz in peace, we are firmly into the Season of Spritz. And while I love a traditional spritz to transport me from my sweltering apartment to the gentle breezes of the Amalfi Coast, a new TikTok video from home cook Ereka Vetrini encouraged me to take things a step further. 

In the video, Vetrini makes a summery Aperol spritz–sangria hybrid — using a French press! According to Vetrini, “[T]he press forces the fruit flavors to infuse into the drink quicker.”  I was so curious about this idea that I had to conduct a very serious midday cocktail experiment (all in the name of research, of course!). 

How to Make an Aperol Spritz Sangria Using a French Press

Vetrini’s fizzy sangria makes two generously poured cocktails and is easy to riff on. Here’s how to do it.  

Credit: Sarah Beling
  1. Chop the fruit. To start, Vetrini suggests chopping an assortment of summer fruit — which, in her case, includes one sliced peach, one cup pitted and sliced Rainier cherries, and one half of a sliced orange (you’ll juice the other half to add to the cocktail mixture). In my case, I threw in one half of a Honeycrisp apple, a half cup of sweet Bing cherries, one small white peach, and half of an orange because I happened to have them all on hand. 
  2. Mix the liquids. After chopping up your fruit and juicing the orange, add both to the bottom of a standard-size French press. Then, fill one half of the press with Aperol and the rest with your preferred brand of Prosecco. Although an official Aperol Spritz recipe also calls for a dash of club soda, Vetrini’s recipe skips this ingredient. 
  3. Seal and chill your cocktail: Stir the entire mixture before covering your French press — I sealed my cocktail with the actual French press lid, although Vetrini uses what appears to be a handy reusable beeswax wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least two hours.
  4. Press and pour: Here’s the most satisfying step: Push down your French press in a slow, even manner until you’ve thoroughly pressed some juices out of your fruit. Pour your cocktail over ice, add an orange slice to garnish, and enjoy! 
Credit: Sarah Beling

The Verdict 

I’m already a fan of both sangria and the Aperol Spritz, so perhaps I was primed to enjoy this concoction. That said, I found the preparation easy to follow and the flavors enjoyable. The Aperol helps cut the sweetness of the fruit infusion and makes for a balanced and refreshing summer beverage. Plus, because of the French press, it’s a lot faster to make than classic sangria, which ideally should be refrigerated overnight. 

A few fellow testers have noted that if you prefer a more spritz-y cocktail, you can add a touch of additional Prosecco to top off your drink with a bit more fizz. I slightly missed the “fruit-on-the bottom” aspect of traditional Sangria and would consider adding back in a few pieces of my infused fruit to the glass. 

Is it a super authentic Aperol Spritz? No. Is it a super authentic sangria? No. But I think that this hybrid is a really tasty, make-ahead summer cocktail that I’d readily make again for a little work-from-home happy hour or weekend staycation. Saluti! 

More Aperol and Sangria-Inspired Drinks and Treats to Enjoy This Summer