limoncello spritz drinks in cocktail glasses with lemons and barkeeping tools

Limoncello Spritz Recipe: Master This Tart Treat

The limoncello spritz is a tart, sweet, and refreshing cocktail that features the Italian apéritif limoncello along with soda water and Prosecco. This cocktail is fairly simple to make, and it is the perfect complement to a warm summer’s day.

Our article aims to tell you more about the limoncello spritz, including important items like where this drink originated and what it’s made from. We also tell you how to craft your own limoncello spritz to enjoy at home.

What Exactly Is Limoncello Spritz? An Overview

A limoncello spritz is a spritz-style cocktail, meaning it features Prosecco and soda water, along with the apéritif limoncello. Limoncello is created by steeping sugar and lemon peels in vodka until the vodka takes on the sweet and tart flavors of the lemon.

The appearance of the limoncello spritz is generally light yellow to gold depending on the type of limoncello used. This drink is typically served over ice with fruit garnishes such as lemon and orange slices. It’s perceived as a twist on the classic Aperol spritz, and it has a classic, simple feel to it.

What Does a Limoncello Spritz Taste Like?

The limoncello spritz tastes exactly how you might expect – lemon-forward, tart, sweet, and refreshing. If you love something like vodka and lemonade, this is similar but sweeter and more refreshing. This drink features the flavor combination of limoncello, which is sweet and acidic by itself, with Prosecco and soda water to give the cocktail a bubbly sip.

The sweetness and tartness of this drink can vary depending on the type of limoncello you use and the brand of Prosecco or sparkling wine that you choose to add. If you are feeling daring, you can use your own homemade limoncello for a unique twist on this drink.

What Is the Alcohol Content of a Limoncello Spritz?

The alcohol content of a limoncello spritz is somewhat higher than other types of spritz-style drinks due to the higher alcoholic proof of limoncello. This drink comes in at around 30% ABV, and when combined with the 11% ABV of most Proseccos, it can be a little on the boozy side.

What Is the History of the Limoncello Spritz?

While it is hard to pin down the exact history of the limoncello spritz, it is known that this drink originated in Italy, somewhere around Sorrento, Amalfi, and Capri. Limoncello itself has been around since the 1900s, and the spitz style of drinks traces its origins back to the area of Veneto. In the late twentieth century, the limoncello spritz started growing in popularity, and it is often seen today as a refreshing summertime drink.

This cocktail hasn’t changed too much over the years, as the time-tested recipe is pleasing to most drinkers. Today, many limoncello spritz enthusiasts prefer to add their own twist on this drink by adding in their preferred herb or floral complements. You can also spice up your drink with a little extra alcohol in the form of liqueurs.

How to Make a Limoncello Spritz

Crafting a limoncello spritz is fortunately not too difficult, as most spritz-style drinks have a straightforward recipe. For this recipe, you will need to follow a 3-2-1 ratio for your Prosecco, limoncello, and soda water, respectively.

To create your limoncello spritz, add some ice cubes to your favorite glass, and make sure your glass is big enough to hold all of your ingredients. Pour in two ounces of limoncello, add three ounces of Prosecco, and top the glass off with one ounce of soda water. You can garnish your drink with a slice of lemon, a lemon twist, or even some orange slices and berries to craft a perfectly summery and refreshing drink.

When choosing which types of limoncello and Prosecco to use, you can opt for your favorite store-bought brands, or you can use homemade limoncello.

How to Serve a Limoncello Spritz

A limoncello spritz should be served chilled, as this is the best way to enjoy the refreshing and lemony flavors. To craft the limoncello spritz, you will need a cocktail coupe glass or a champagne flute depending on your preferred glass style, and a long spoon for stirring. If you want to ensure your drink stays cold for longer, you can chill your glass before pouring the ingredients into it.

As an Italian drink, the limoncello spritz works well when paired with Italian-style foods, especially refreshing salads, tomato-based dishes, and roasted chicken or seafood. Add a few ice cubes to your glass to ensure this drink stays cold.

When to Drink a Limoncello Spritz

Limoncello spritzes are generally served in the evening or afternoon, as they are the perfect complement to a hot summer’s day. This drink can easily be a refreshing brunch drink, and it pairs well with both brunch and dinner foods due to its versatility.

We recommend enjoying your limoncello spritz with a caprese salad, Italian-style pizza, roasted chicken, or seafood risotto to get the best out of the flavors of this tart drink.

What Are Some Limoncello Spritz Variations?

The limoncello spritz is more of a straightforward recipe. This makes it something that makes it easy to craft at home and lends itself to lots of experimentation in terms of adjusting the flavors of this drink to your liking.

There are a few different versions of the limoncello spritz that bring new tastes to the cocktail or adjust the sweetness and tartness of this drink.

Aperol Spritz

  • 3 ounces of Prosecco
  • 2 ounces of Aperol
  • 1 ounce of soda water
The limoncello spritz is a take on the original Aperol spritz, and you can substitute Aperol in this drink easily. Simply add ice to your glass then pour in all of your measured ingredients, giving a stir before topping with your favorite garnishes.

Limoncello Spritz With Elderflower

  • 3 ounces of Prosecco
  • 2 ounces of limoncello
  • 1 ounce of soda water
  • 1 ounce of elderflower liqueur
Give your limoncello spritz a more floral flavor profile by mixing in an ounce of elderflower liqueur. Depending on the size of your glass, you may need to add less Prosecco to make sure all of the ingredients fit. Add all of your measured ingredients to the glass and give it a stir before garnishing and enjoying.

Limoncello Bellini

  • 1 ounce of limoncello
  • 1/2 an ounce of peach schnapps
  • Prosecco to top
The limoncello bellini is a take on the traditional bellini that uses a fruit liqueur to add a hint of sweetness to the Prosecco used. For this drink, add your limoncello and peach schnapps (or other fruit liqueur) into a champagne flute, and then top with Prosecco.

Festive Limoncello Spritz

  • 3 ounces of Prosecco
  • 2 ounces of limoncello
  • 1 ounce of soda water
  • 1 ounce of cranberry juice
Cranberry juice is a popular cocktail addition around the holidays. You can bring a festive twist to your limoncello spritz by creating the base limoncello spritz recipe with the addition of some cranberry juice for added tartness and subtle sweetness.

Infused Limoncello Spritz

  • 3 ounces of Prosecco
  • 2 ounces of limoncello
  • 1 ounce of soda water
  • Muddled fruits or herbs or infused syrups
You can add your favorite infused syrups or muddled fruit and herb leaves to your cocktail glass or champagne flute before pouring in your limoncello spritz ingredients. This will give your cocktail a little extra flavor and customization.

Loving the Limoncello Spritz

glasses of limoncello spritz and lemons
Perfect for summertime or any other time you need a refreshing drink, the limoncello spritz features limoncello, Prosecco, and soda water to craft a bubbly and tart drink. The flavor profile of this drink is sweet and sour. It can be consumed during a summer’s evening, as an after-dinner drink, or whenever you need a slightly boozy yet definitely delicious cocktail. Upgrade your limoncello spritz with homemade limoncello for even tastier results.
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