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The Best Hugo Cocktail Recipe

If you’re looking for something refreshing to sip during the summer, don’t miss this Hugo Cocktail! With hints of floral and citrus, this bubbly Italian spritz cocktail comes together with just 5 ingredients. 

An Easy Spritz Cocktail

This Hugo Cocktail might be my new summer cocktail of choice. It’s light and refreshing, with hints of floral, citrus and mint. It’s one of those drinks you want to sip slowly but are also ready to drink another one as soon as the first is finished.

While I love my margaritas and sangrias in the summer as much as anyone else, there are just days when I want something a little different. Something not quite as strong as a margarita or as fruity as sangria. That’s where this Hugo Cocktail comes in. It’s as easy (or easier) to make as most other cocktails but the flavor is unexpected and the perfect thing to cool you down on a hot summer day.

As all good summer cocktails should be, this Hugo Cocktail is easy to make (just 5 ingredients) and comes together in 3 minutes or less! You won’t have to take a long break from the pool to make one of these.

Hugo Cocktail with lime and mint in a large wine glass

What is a Hugo Cocktail?

The Hugo Cocktail is a relatively new drink, said to be invented in 2005 by Roland Gruber in Northern Italy, as an alternative to the Aperol spritz. Similar to the drink that inspired it, the Hugo Cocktail is a spritz cocktail made with Prosecco, elderberry syrup or liqueur, and sparkling water.

It’s light and refreshing with a floral taste. Once you try it, you’ll understand why this drink quickly became a favorite throughout Europe in the summer months!

What You’ll Need

This easy Hugo Cocktail is made with just 5 ingredients! I recommend keeping extras on hand as I can never drink just one of these!

  • Elderflower syrup – I use St. Germain elderflower liqueur instead of syrup, as it’s easier to find here.
  • Prosecco – This Italian sparkling wine is the traditional ingredient but you can substitute another dry sparkling wine of your choice.
  • Sparkling water – You can also use seltzer but avoid club soda.
  • Mint leaves – Muddling the mint adds a pop of cooling flavor to the cocktail.
  • Lime – Adds just a hint of citrus to the floral cocktail.

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How to Make a Hugo Cocktail

It takes just 2 steps and 3 minutes to make this light, refreshing summer drink!

  1. Muddle the mint. Add ice, lime and mint to a large wine glass. Muddle the mint to release the oils and create a minty aroma.
  2. Add the bubbles and serve. Add the elderflower liqueur and Prosecco, then top with sparkling water. Gently stir and serve.
Bottles of St. Germain, Prosecco and mineral water

Tips for Success

It took a handful of variations to find the perfect combination of ingredients for the best Hugo Cocktail. Here are a few things to keep in mind, that I learned along the way.

  • Use a dry sparkling wine. Prosecco is the best option here, as it’s the one traditionally used in the cocktail. However, you can substitute it for another sparkling wine. You just want to be sure the label says “Brut” (dry) or you’ll end up with an entirely different flavor.
  • Don’t substitute club soda. Sparkling water and seltzer are almost the same thing but club soda is not. Yes, it will add more bubbles to your cocktail – but it will also change the flavor.
  • Muddle the mint. It only takes a few seconds but it truly elevates the flavor of this cocktail. I tried to skip it and the 30 seconds it saved was not worth it!
St. Germain being poured into a wine glass with ice and lime slices

Serving Suggestions

This beautiful spritz cocktail is typically served before dinner and meant to be sipped, though if I’m being honest I enjoy it at any time of the day. Since it’s so light and refreshing, it’s perfect for sipping by the pool or on the patio in the afternoons.

I serve my Hugo Cocktails in a wine glass with extra lime and mint for garnish.

Can I Make This Ahead?

This is not a cocktail you want to make in advance, as you want it to be nice and bubbly when you sip it. Thankfully, it comes together in just a few minutes with little effort!

If you want to save yourself some time, you can slice the limes ahead of time and separate the mint leaves.

More Easy Cocktail Recipes:

A freshly poured Hugo Cocktail with bubbles
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Hugo Cocktail with lime and mint in a large wine glass

The Best Hugo Cocktail Recipe

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  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Assemble
  • Cuisine: Italian


If you’re looking for something different to sip this summer, don’t miss this Hugo Cocktail! With hints of floral and citrus, this bubbly Italian spritz cocktail comes together with just 5 ingredients. 


  • 1 tablespoon elderflower syrup (St. Germain)
  • 4 oz. Prosecco
  • 12 tablespoons sparkling water
  • 34 mint leaves
  • 2 slices of lime


  1. To a large wine glass add ice, lime slices and mint. Muddle a little bit to release the aroma from the mint.
  2. Add elderflower liquor, Prosecco and top with sparkling water.
  3. Gently stir and serve.

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