There's something undeniably refreshing about sipping on a chilled Hugo Spritz. This effervescent cocktail has become a symbol of warm weather gatherings and relaxed afternoons in sun-soaked European cafés. But how did the Hugo Spritz come to be, and what makes it so beloved today? After being introduced to the Hugo during our trip through Italy, we came back curious and decided to do some research. In this post, we'll take a trip through the history of this sparkling drink, from its humble beginnings to its eventual rise to international fame.
The Birth of the Hugo Spritz
The Hugo Spritz's story begins in the picturesque region of South Tyrol, nestled in the northern part of Italy near the Austrian border. While the precise origins of the drink are debated, it is widely believed to have been created in 2005 by Roland Gruber, a bartender from the town of Naturns. Gruber was searching for an alternative to the popular Italian aperitif, the Aperol Spritz, and aimed to create a lighter, more refreshing option.
The Perfect Blend
At its core, the Hugo Spritz is a simple yet delicious mix of ingredients. The original recipe called for a blend of Prosecco, elderflower syrup, soda water, fresh mint leaves, and a slice of lime or lemon. The combination of floral elderflower and crisp, aromatic mint lends the cocktail a unique and refreshing flavor profile, while the Prosecco and soda water provide a delightful effervescence.
A Slow and Steady Rise
In the years following its creation, the Hugo Spritz gradually gained traction in northern Italy and Austria. By the late 2000s and early 2010s, the drink was becoming a popular alternative to the Aperol Spritz and other summertime cocktails in these regions. Word of mouth and the increasing popularity of elderflower products contributed to the Hugo Spritz's steady rise in prominence.
It wasn't until the early 2010s that the Hugo Spritz began to make a name for itself on the international stage. As the cocktail made its way across Europe, its refreshing and delicate flavors appealed to a wide variety of palates. By the mid-2010s, the Hugo Spritz had become a staple at European bars and cafés during the warmer months, and soon enough, it started to appear on menus around the world.
Variations and Adaptations
Like any popular cocktail, the Hugo Spritz has inspired a number of variations and adaptations over the years. Some mixologists have experimented with using different sparkling wines, such as Cava or Champagne, in place of Prosecco. Others have introduced new flavors, like the addition of St. Germain, an elderflower liqueur, for an extra touch of floral sweetness. The possibilities are seemingly endless, making the Hugo Spritz a versatile and ever-evolving cocktail.
Try the Theo (our take on the Hugo) at our shop
We're more than a shop that sells fragrances. We created an environment where you can stop by our shop to look at photos of our trips, learn about the stories behind our fragrances, tell us about your own favorite travel stories or just pull up a chair and work. We'll have random drinks inspired from all around the world, but the Theo is something we'll always have around.