Hugo Cocktail

As the weather gets more reliably sunny and warm, I am looking forward more and more to a new favorite summer cocktail – the Hugo.

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The Hugo in the Courtyard of the Parkhotel Laurin in Bolzano, Italy

Last summer during our trip to Germany and Italy, everywhere we went we saw on the drinks menu “the Hugo.”  I had never seen or heard of this before.  I was quite familiar with the other cocktail that has swept Europe, the Aperol Spritz, which I love. Coming out of northern Italy and conquering every piazza, place, and plaza in its path, even making its way to the United States, the Spritz is quite refreshing.  The Hugo, though, was something new, and since it seemed also to be spreading. I decided to try it.

It too, is refreshing.  Like the Aperol Spritz, it has a prosecco base, but it a bit milder, and does not contain any of the slight bitterness of Aperol.

How to Make a Hugo.

The Hugo is made by starting with a few leaves of mint, slightly muddled in the bottom of the glass to really get the fragrance in the drink.  Next, add several cubes of ice.  Add about 4 ounces of prosecco, 3 ounces of mineral water, and an ounce of elderflower syrup. Add a slice of lemon or lime, I’ve seen both.  Top off a straw (it was always served with a straw), and sip.

Elderflower syrup may seem like a bit of an unusual ingredient, particularly in the United States, but it was easier to find than I expected.  I actually found mine at Ikea, in the grocery section.  You can also find it here on Amazon.  If you can’t get your hands on Elderflower syrup, you can substitute it with St. Germain, a widely available Elderflowre liqueur.  I have made it both ways, and they are equally delicious.

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The Hugo Cocktail

Above is our attempt at the Hugo cocktail in our background.  It was a pretty good facsimile if you ask me.  Complete with straws!

Let me know if you try it and how you like it.   It’s great on a warm summer evening.


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