Kitchn Love Letters

This Aperol Spritz Hack Is Now My Go-To Summer Cocktail

published Jun 2, 2023
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Someone holding up freshly made Spaghett.
Credit: Lena Abraham

Whether or not you’re a fan of the controversially popular Aperol spritz, you’ve got to admit that when the long, hot days of summer roll around, the idea of a light, bubbly, ice-cold beverage sounds just right. And although I love a good wine spritzer, my warm-weather drink of choice does not come in a large and elegant white wine glass: It comes in a Miller High Life bottle.

The cocktail in question? A Spaghett. And although it might not look or sound anything like an Aperol spritz, it is in fact a playful reimagining of the popular Italian-born cocktail. Originated by bartender Reed Cahill at Wet City Brewery in Baltimore, Maryland, the drink features only three ingredients: Miller High Life, Aperol (although some variations swap in Campari), and lemon juice. Like its namesake, the spaghetti-eating oddball of Tim and Eric fame, this drink is not authentically Italian, but is sure to surprise you.

Why I Love a Spaghett 

Miller High Life has long been my favorite summertime beer, so when I saw the Spaghett popping up on my local bar’s menu a couple years ago, I knew immediately I had to try it. Although I was very familiar with the individual ingredients in this cocktail, I was not prepared for how different they would taste when combined. After my first sip, I was stunned; my beloved lager was transformed into a citrus-y cherry cream soda that finished off with a subtly sweet, hoppy flavor. The signature effervescence of the High Life lent a velvety texture to the cocktail that, when paired with the fruity flavors, reminded me of an ice cream float. Needless to say, I was instantly sold on it.

Drinkability aside, the convenience of this cocktail can’t be beat. Much like Ranch Water, which can be built on the fly in a Topo Chico bottle, the Spaghett is ideal for whipping up at a picnic in a park or on the beach (legally, of course!). Hosting a backyard barbecue? Keep lots of High Life, a bottle of Aperol, and some sliced lemons in a cooler and let your guests go to town making their own — no glasses required!

Credit: Lena Abraham

How to Make a Spaghett 

Crack an ice-cold Miller High Life and take a few hearty swigs, until the beer comes to at least halfway down the x-shaped sticker on the neck of the bottle. Add 1 ounce of Aperol, then finish with a squeeze of lemon. Taste, and adjust the ingredients as necessary. If you’re looking for a little more sweetness, add another splash of Aperol. And if you’re missing some citrusy zing, or find the drink too sweet, squeeze in another wedge of lemon. 

If You’re Making a Spaghett, a Few Tips 

  • Keep your ingredients well-chilled. Spaghetts are best served ice cold, so make sure your beer and Aperol have had plenty of time to cool down in the fridge before building your cocktail.
  • Make them to order. One of the best parts of this cocktail is its almost creamy effervescence. But, as the drink sits, it starts to lose all of those lovely little bubbles. To capture that fizzy goodness, serve the cocktail the moment it’s made to avoid a flat Spaghett. 
  • Pair them with some salty snacks. In my opinion, every cocktail deserves a good snack to keep it company. The Spaghett’s sweetness is a great contrast to simple salty snacks like potato chips or olives. Or, if you’re feeling fancy, peak summer appetizers like fried squash blossoms or bruschetta would really make the cocktail shine.   

Get the recipe: Spaghett